The Dáil has been told that changes to the liquor licensing laws will bring Thursday closing time back to 11.30pm.

The changes will also allow publicans to ban those under 17 years of age from their premises.

Minister of State Willie O'Dea said the Bill, to be introduced in this session, will allow plain-clothes gardaí to enforce the licensing laws.

He said the Bill will also bring in the wider use of temporary closure orders for pubs.