Talk of pubs and clubs opening until 6am backed by Minister
Minister for Arts Catherine Martin has backed the proposal for pubs and clubs to be allowed open until 6am under new licencing laws.
When asked about the prospect on Wednesday, Minister Martin said "why not" and said that option "should definitely be there."
Her comments came on foot of the launch of a new night-time economy taskforce which is working on a plan to "revitalise" Ireland's nightlife scene, examining things like planning laws, noise reduction and policing.
The Taskforce, which was made up of a wide range of Government Departments and Agencies, the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Cork and Give Us The Night, examined a broad range of challenges facing the development of a vibrant night-time culture and economy including regulations, licencing laws, transport, and diversity of cultural activities and committed to finding practical solutions to help our cities, towns and villages which have already faced so many challenges, find and develop new opportunities.
Speaking about the taskforce more broadly, Minister Martin said: “The electronic music and night club sector is an integral part of the Night-Time Economy and our culture and it is important that it is supported and recognised. I understand the frustration, as it has been one of the hardest hit during this pandemic, but I hope this report will be a welcome step forward as we reopen in line with public health guidance. I would also like to thank the Taskforce and all those who contributed to this process.
“There are also solid building blocks in this Report– in the area of planning, for example. I and my colleagues Minister O’Brien and Minister of State Burke in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage are committed to hosting a workshop with the sector and other key Departments and agencies to discuss solutions from this report.”
Sunil Sharpe, Give Us the Night, said: “The publishing of this Report is an important milestone on the road to change for the Irish night-time industry. It has been a challenging process at times, but we are happy with the direction it is going and have particularly enjoyed our engagement with the Department and Minister Martin, who have taken time to understand and really try to address the issues at hand.
“This is the beginning of a rebirth for domestic nightlife, which if done right can increase the public’s interaction with their local city or town and open up new opportunities for a considerable part of our community. Ireland still does some of the basics well, but from a culture and entertainment point of view, has been running very dry in recent years at night, to the point where we have seen the complete disappearance of venues and events in many parts of the country.
“The night-time industry should work for all businesses and venues, and obstacles to this need be removed. That won’t all be done overnight and there are still many challenges ahead that all need careful attention. I believe we can meet all these challenges head on, and get them right. Nightlife can work for everyone, it will just take some extra work, determination and a bit of compromise here and there too.
"The main thing is that we create a more organised modern model, on a par with our European counterparts, and who knows, maybe even a bit better than some of them. The changes we need to make in Ireland will not be extreme, they will simply just mean doing things a bit differently, being a bit more flexible, and ultimately placing a bit more trust in night-time businesses, venues, performers, workers and the general public. We need Ireland to be a desirable destination for tourists, sure, but enhancing the quality of nightlife for those who live here must be a top priority.”
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