Selling alcohol in off-licences, supermarkets, forecourts and c-stores in the Irish Republic is about to get a lot more difficult as a result of measures announced by justice minister Brian Lenihan this week.
The measures, aimed at curbing binge drinking and tackling alcohol-related public disorder, are due to take effect by the summer.
They include restrictions on the in-store display of alcohol, a reduction in opening hours and curbs on the promotion of discount offers such as bogofs.
The use of teenagers in police stings is also to become an official tactic in the fight against underage drink sales.
Announcing the clampdown, the minister said they were not "killjoy measures conjured up by a nanny-state government" but a response to a "significant problem" that was fuelling disorder and crime.
This was just stage one of the state's response and other measures would come later, he said.
Under the measures, off-licence and retail sales of alcohol will be permitted only between 10.30am-10pm, instead of 7.30am-12.30am, and alcohol must be displayed in a separate section well removed from groceries, confectionery and household items.
The issuing of alcohol licences is also to be reformed. In future, applicants will require a certificate from the courts, which will take account of community objections on issues such as the number of off-licences in the area.
The measures are based on the recommendations of an advisory group, which also proposed the minimum age for selling alcohol in stores and off-licences be raised to 21, claiming staff below that age might be unwilling or unable to challenge young customers. However, the minister said this would be inconsistent with young people being able to vote and marry at 18.
Other proposals included on-the-spot fines for being drunk, plus the seizure of alcohol from youngsters drinking in public.