Irish pubs for dummies (Or, how to behave in 'em)
Buy your round of drinks in Ireland, or suffer the consequences
Ireland’s pub closing times are confusing. During the week, pubs serve until 11.30 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, it's 12.30 am. And on Sunday, it's 11.00 pm. In all cases, there is a half hour "drinking up time." At the weekends, because most of the pubs close at the same time, the towns and cities get very crowded at about 1.00 am - making it a challenge to get a taxi home.
Some pubs have a late license allowing them to serve until 2.30 am, the same time as nightclubs must stop serving.
In additon, pubs actually close completely on Good Friday and Christmas Day so be prepared for long lines at the liquor store on Holy Thursday and Christmas Eve. However, there are exceptions; if you're staying in a hotel or traveling on a train on Good Friday you can buy a drink.
Up until 2000, pubs had to close from 2-4 pm on Sundays – the so-called “Holy Hour.” The bizarre thing was that as long as you were already inside the bar before 2 pm you were could stay – the bar just couldn’t let anyone in during these hours.
Another peculiar law concerning drinking in Ireland, is that technically, it’s an offense to be drunk in public. Just thought you should know.