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It comes as part of the programme for Government and the Taskforce will work on solutions for a nighttime economy that was already suffering pre-COVID.

It’s no secret that Dublin’s nightlife has been in jeopardy for some time. Club closures in the capital have become commonplace with hotels often taking the place of many of the city’s watering holes.

It’s been a resoundingly disappointing week for the events industry, however, some good news came through yesterday in that Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin announced the formation of a Taskforce that would be responsible for ensuring a sustainable future for the nighttime economy.

Today, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Catherine Martin T.D. announced the establishment of a new Taskforce to address sustainable night-time culture and economy.

The news undoubtedly comes as a result of much of the good work that the Give Us The Night campaign has done over the years. Since its inception, a Nighttime Economy Taskforce has been one of the key demands of the volunteer group. Following the announcement Minister Martin further explained the purpose of the Taskforce saying, “The establishment of a Night-Time Economy Taskforce is a key commitment in the Programme for Government and I am delighted that my Department will be leading and driving this initiative.” “The importance of working collaboratively with all relevant partners including key Government Departments and Agencies cannot be overstated.  I want creative thinking and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the night-time economy and I want every opportunity explored and maximised.  I am particularly pleased that Sunil Sharpe of Give us the Night has agreed to participate in the Task Force, as well as the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork cities, who have already overseen much work in this area.   It is anticipated that Give us the Night and the two Local Authorities will give a presentation on their vision, and their work to date at the first meeting of the Taskforce.”

Minister Martin continued to say, “I am also asking the Taskforce to conduct an intensive stakeholder engagement process with all relevant sectors and interested parties who have a significant role in the night-time economy to ensure that all views and ideas are considered by the Taskforce.  While it won’t be possible to have every interested party on the Taskforce, they can be sure that their views will be heard and will be an important part of the process.”

“Covid-19 has severely restricted social gatherings and has been detrimental to the night-time economy and culture of our cities, towns and villages.  However, as the economy opens up in the coming months (dependent on the current health advice), the industry needs to be ready to bounce back and to have as few obstacles as possible to develop and grow.  This Taskforce will be well placed to look at all the challenges facing the development of a vibrant night-time culture and economy such as regulations, licencing laws, transport, and diversity of cultural activities among other issues.”

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have confirmed on their website that the Taskforce will be chaired by the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht and will meet in the coming weeks. A report is expected to arrive with policy recommendations to the Minister within six months of this first meeting.

Photo: Credit

Words: Dylan Murphy 
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