I seem to know quite a few publicans. I don’t know why this is, but it it could be my prodigious capacity for alcohol, or it might not, since I’m now far too old to be swallowing vast amounts of beer. It must be my magnetic personality and unbelievable levels of physical attractiveness. Anyway, one way or another, I discovered from talking to publicans that they’re all scared shitless of refusing service to people without giving a valid reason, because they think their licences can be objected to on the grounds of discrimination.
This is bollocks.
Any publican is entitled to refuse service to any customer without giving a reason, provided they haven’t discriminated on the very narrow grounds laid down in law.
What are those grounds?
They are as follows:
- Marital status.
- Family status.
- Sexual orientation.
- Religious belief or lack of religious belief.
- Race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
- Membership of the traveller community.
Nota bene. There is nothing in Irish law preventing a publican from refusing me on the grounds that they
– don’t like me
– think I’m ugly
– think I’m a lowlife scumbag
– find me boring
– dislike my dog
– disagree with my views on sport or any other reason apart from those listed above.
The only people who have rights in Irish discrimination law are those in the list I’ve just made. Nobody else has any right whatsoever to be served and can be refused without even the most perfunctory explanation. Fuck off will do fine.
In addition, if any of the people in the list behave in an unacceptable way, you are also entitled to refuse them service.
However, there’s one thing to be careful of, if you happen to be a publican and you want to get rid of people who are pissing you off. You do not want to call the future ex-customer a lowlife scumbag in front of others because they might successfully argue that you defamed them.
Since it’s not defamatory to call a person names in private, take them aside and tell them they’re no longer going to be served in your premises.
Wish them a happy life and rejoice that they’re gone from yours.
Have no further fears about your licence.