THE Open looks set to benefit from a relaxation in licensing laws that will allow golf fans more freedom to buy and consume alcohol.
The tournament, which will be Northern Ireland's biggest ever sporting event, runs from Thursday, July 17 to Sunday 21.
Stormont's Department for Communities told The Chronicle a consultation on liquor laws for ‘special events’ indicated strong economic benefits for Northern Ireland.
The department said the proposals were tabled ‘with a view to assisting The 148th Open.’
Among those to support the move were Causeway Coast and Glens Council and Tourism NI.
Representatives of the hospitality industry initially opposed liberalisation for special events alone but fell in behind proposals after receiving cross-party assurances that reform across the board would be on the agenda when Stormont was back up and running.
*Read more on this inside this week's Chronicle.