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Gary Gannon TD

Comprehensive transport plan also needed to ensure success of extended nightclub hours

The long overdue reform of licencing laws will help protect livelihoods and provide a welcome boost for the night-time economy, according to Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon.

Deputy Gannon, who is the party’s Arts spokesperson, said:

“Businesses dependent on late-night trade have struggled to recover from almost two years of enforced closure, with many pubs and nightclubs in a battle for their very survival since Covid restrictions ended.

“There has been a significant drop in the number of nightclubs over the past two decades. It has been reported there are now just 100 nightclubs and 200 late bars operating in Ireland. Contrast this with the year 2000, when there were 100 nightclubs in Dublin alone, and an additional 422 outside the capital.

“The modernisation of our antiquated licencing laws, which are 200-years-old, will allow nightclubs to stay open until 6am, bringing Ireland in line with norms in other European countries. This will be an additional selling point for our towns and cities in attracting international tourists and providing revellers with greater choice when it comes to socialising.

“The proposed extension of pub opening hours to 12.30am every night may also help prevent the closure of many struggling family businesses around the country.

“A vibrant night-time economy is vital if we are to sustain jobs and protect Ireland’s reputation as a tourism destination.

“However, the Government also needs to come up with a comprehensive plan to improve late-night transport in tandem with new closing times. In Dublin, for instance, this could include the extension of bus, DART and Luas services to reflect the changes. As things stand, it is difficult to get a taxi after 1am. If people can’t get home after a night out, it creates a sense that the city is unsafe.”

October 25, 2022

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