Words: Eva O’Beirne
The Government initially waved late licence fees for venues to open beyond normal pub hours. Now venues are expected to commit the money towards these fees for the month of May by this Friday.
Give Us The Night have voiced their disappointment at the reintroduction of these fees, known as the Special Exemption Orders (SEOs) as “the industry is trying to recover and this will lead to venues not opening as regularly, less events taking place, less gigs to play at or go to, a loss of employment” and they fear “the possibility of more venue losses.”
SEOs only apply to nightclubs and have been described as “discriminatory” by the campaign. The current SEO fee is 410 euro per night. Give Us The Night wish to extend the waiver on the licence fees as well as call for general fee reform for nightclubs and late-venues.
In an Instagram post last night, Give Us The Night stated that they “cannot understand why the Government would choose to reimpose these fees” as they “amount to tiny small change for the Exchequer”.
In an interview with District in January, campaigner and DJ Robbie Kitt spoke to us about the rapid decline of cultural spaces in Dublin, describing how “the rot had set in before the pandemic started, but the pandemic accelerated the erosion of these spaces for self-expression.” The capacity of Dublin venues has decreased from 25,000 in 2012 to 11,000 in 2022. The last purpose-built venue to open in Dublin was The Wright Venue in 2009.
Give Us The Night have pointed to an email template for those interested in protesting this issue to send to their local representatives: “We need Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath and their cabinet colleagues to instead continue the waiver until the end of the year when licensing reforms should finally be in place.”
You can check out their email template here.
Elsewhere on District: Spiking in Ireland is on the rise and it needs to be tackled. Now.