Dubliners can now expect to see beer taps closed and bars closed across the city after the latest controversy over the sale of alcoholic drinks to Irish bars.
The controversial policy has left many Irish pubs and bars unable to sell alcohol as the province tries to clamp down on underage drinking and underage consumption.
The sale of alcohol to Irish pubs will be restricted to children and pregnant women from the age of 18, with restrictions to last until the end of the month.
It comes amid concerns that some bars have been using alcohol to attract customers, including the popular Barrow pub in the city centre, where some of the most popular beers in the country are sold.
However, the sale will continue to be permitted to adults who are 21 or older, and the sale and consumption of alcohol is expected to continue.
The decision comes as alcohol sales have dropped sharply in Ireland in recent years, with the number of alcohol-related deaths in the past three years down from 8,812 to 3,955.
A ban on the sale, consumption and sale of all alcohol to under-18s was announced by the Minister for Health in January.
The ban applies to beer, cider, wine, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks.
However the policy is likely to be challenged by the Irish Bar Association, which said in a statement on Thursday that it would not back down.
“This is an issue that has been raised in the context of the recent controversy over sales of alcoholic beverages in Irish pubs,” the association said.
“As such, we will continue our legal and political efforts to have this policy scrapped.”
The association said it had been in contact with other bars in Dublin to discuss the ban.
“We hope that this will lead to a positive outcome for all parties involved, including those bars and pubs who wish to continue selling alcohol to their customers,” the statement said.
The government said it was taking “a number of measures” to address the issue.
The minister for health, Leo Varadkar, said it would take a “number of measures to ensure that Irish pubs continue to sell alcoholic beverages to under the age group of 18”, including closing down pubs that were already operating under a strict 18+ policy.
He said the government was working with other countries in Europe to see how they could “restrict alcohol sales to the same age group in a similar way”.
“The Irish Government is committed to protecting the health of all our citizens and will continue working with partners in the EU to make this happen,” he said.
A spokesman for the Irish Department of Health said: “We are looking into this issue as a matter of urgency and will take all necessary steps to prevent the further deterioration of the public health in Ireland.”
He said there would be a further review of the issue when the next Irish government is elected in October.
“The Department of Justice will also be in contact to examine the issue,” he added.