An online register of liquor licences has gone live, as part of a Court Service initiative.

It is part of a move away from the current manual, and time-consuming, process of registering, or searching, for intoxicating liquour or club licences. 

The database will enable anybody who is interested to examine who is the licensee to operate a particular premises in any county.

This will remove the need to travel to the relevant court office to obtain information, the Court Service has said.

There were 41,890 licensing applications received in 2018.

In a statement the Courts Service said it "marks a continued commitment ... to streamline and improve the online services offered to the public".

It represents a reduced reliance on paper-based methods in favour of faster more reliable online processes.

Chief Justice Frank Clarke has welcomed the move, saying: "The Courts Service plans to fully roll out the online e-licensing system over the coming year, saving solicitors' firms and ultimately clients both time and money. That amounts to up to 50,000 transactions going from paper and attendance at an office, to online".

The pilot scheme is being operated in four counties - Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Louth - before being rolled out nationally in the first half of next year.