Important Information for Members Under 18 Years of Age v-1 OLD

Rights and Restrictions for Members under 18 Years of Age

This is an outdated version of these policies, please see the most up-to-date version here.


Under Irish child protection law, children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult at all times. This has always been Dublin 2019 policy, since we are covered by these laws, but we only recently became aware that said policy was not posted on our website. We deeply apologize.

Additionally, the Irish liquor licensing laws are quite specific about when minors can be in licensed spaces and whether they must be accompanied. Up until very recently both the Convention Center Dublin (CCD) and Dublin 2019 believed our event would be licensed as a private function (like a wedding). But as drinks are being purchased on the premises, even in limited areas, the convention center needs to apply for a special license to extend the hours when they can serve alcohol past 10pm. As a result the entire building is then covered under the prescription of the standard licensing laws in Ireland.

Please read on to learn about what this means for you and/or your child. We apologize for not providing this information earlier, and for the inconvenience it may cause families whose children are used to being free-roaming at conventions.

Most of these rules pertain only to the CCD and not to the Point Square space. Point Square consists of the adjoining buildings of the Point Square Shopping Centre and the Gibson Hotel. Point Square serves as a creative hub highlighting science and the visual arts. The majority of programme items dealing with science & technology, art, costuming, and comics and graphic novels will be located there. It will also house the Art Show and Print Shop, Lego showpieces from (amongst other displays), and collaborative art projects for members to participate in, including letterpress printing with the National Print Museum and crafting sessions.

Note that we have designated the Level 4 Foyer and the Auditorium at the CCD as no-alcohol-allowed spaces, which is why those locations are listed below. The Level 4 foyer will have a bar serving non-alcoholic drinks and light snacks, and after 8 pm a portion of the space will be set aside as a teen lounge with games and other activities, with additional space set aside for parents to hang out. The Auditorium is where large events such as the Hugo Awards and Masquerade will occur, and specifying it as a no-alcohol area allows everyone to attend those events, regardless of timing.

 Children 12 and under

  • Must be accompanied by an adult at all times, whether in the CCD or Point Square locations, due to Irish Child Protection laws
  • After 10 pm at the CCD, can only be in the Auditorium, on the Level 4 Foyer, or in transit on their way out of the building or to/from these locations.

Dublin 2019 will be offering a wide array of children’s programming during the day at the Spencer Hotel. There will also be evening family activities. In addition, we are offering paid childcare, and in response to these new restrictions, have lowered the rates from those previously published. Space is limited, however, and advance signup highly encouraged. Follow the links to learn more about both of those options and see below for how your child’s age impacts availability.

  • Children age 0-12 – can be in paid childcare offered by professional, Garda vetted childminders
  • Children age 3-5 – can attend some children’s programming if accompanied by an adult
  • Children age 6-12 – can attend children’s programming on their own if signed in and out by an adult, as we have Garda-vetted volunteer staff in this location. Can volunteer for some roles if accompanied by an adult on their shifts.

Young Adults age 13 and 14 (Early Teens)

  • Early Teens should generally be accompanied by an adult at all times when at the CCD. 
  • At any time of the day, including after 10 pm, Early Teens can be in the Auditorium or on the Level 4 Foyer, so long as their parent/guardian is in the building. They can also be in transit to or from those locations in the company of an adult.
  • Some children’s programming (at the Spencer Hotel) will be suitable/appealing for Early Teens, and they can attend these items independently.
  • Early Teens may be at the Point Square location independently. 
  • Early Teens can volunteer independently in children’s program. For other jobs they must be accompanied by a parent. 

Young Adults age 15-17 (Teens)

  • Teens can attend the convention independently at both CCD and Point Square locations, but must provide contact information for a responsible adult.
  • After 10 pm at the CCD, Teens can only be in the Auditorium, on the Level 4 Foyer, or in transit on their way out of the building or to/from those locations.
  • Can volunteer for most jobs (move-in and build jobs are restricted to those age 16 or older).

 Badge Pickup and Registration

Young Adult members – We will need to verify your age at the convention before giving you a badge. If you are 18 or over, you must bring age verifying identification in order to receive an adult badge. You will start by visiting the registration line, where you will receive your name sticker, then proceed to the Child and Young Adult Check-in Table for age verification and to receive your badge, which will be color coded for people under 18. Everyone under 18 must also provide contact information for a parent/responsible adult.

Child and Infant members – You will pick up your badge at registration, but must visit the Child and Young Adult Check-in Table to provide contact information for a parent/responsible adult.