Words: Dray Morgan
The Taoiseach announced earlier this week that nightclubs and pubs will not have any change in licensing restrictions until 2024 at the earliest.
Following a summer briefing, the Taoiseach stated a delay to the initial plans of reforming nightclubs opening hours and restrictions.
“Getting the legislation published before Christmas is unlikely”, he said, “but I would hope it comes into place for next summer”.
It was looking positive for enjoyers of Dublin’s nightlife, as a few weeks ago, Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice, announced nightclub reforms should be underway by the end of this year. This news came in tandem with announcements that new funding will be given to venues for soundproofing, preemptive to legislation change. 2 million euro has been allocated, with the maximum individual grant being 70,000 euro, enough to restructure most nightclubs across the country.
The changes would see nightclubs serve alcohol until 05:00 and stay open until 06:00 with pubs allowed to remain open until 00:30, seven days per week.
The reform has been introduced with the focus of combatting nightlife hubs closing their doors in the country. Since 2000, 80 percent of all nightclubs in Ireland have closed down, going from 522 to 85. Restrictions in opening hours means that venues can not achieve viability financially.
Lawmakers have promised to put people power behind the bill change and divert the government’s attention on passing it through parliament.
“It is absolutely my intention that we’ll bring forward with legislation as quickly as possible so that no other venues are impacted,” Minister McEntee stated.
The initial announcement of changes to nightlife came in October of 2022, when it was announced that changes would be cemented by summer of this year.
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