Taskforce Proposes Looser Licensing Laws

16 Sep 2021 | 08.20 am

Taskforce Proposes Looser Licensing Laws

Minister Catherine Martin wants to reignite night-time culture

16 Sep 2021 | 08.20 am

‘Streamlined’ liquor licensing laws and making it easier for venues such as exhibition spaces, theatres, and galleries to obtain drink licences are in the offing, according to the Report of the Night-Time Economy Taskforce.

Putting the maze of regulations and laws governing the opening hours of night-time entertainment and cultural venues on a par with other European cities is the key aim of the report’s recommendations, which sets out 36 specific actions to be taken to revitalise the sector post-Covid.

Green Party tourism and culture minister Catherine Martin said: “Ireland’s nightlife is an important sector, contributing to our economy and our cultural and creative communities. We must protect, support and sustain it,  particularly as we begin to emerge out of this pandemic and start to think about how and where we socialise and plan our city and town centres. 

“This announcement sets out to reignite our night-time culture and economies, putting Ireland on a par with other European cities, which thrive after dark.

“It is about opening doors for our creative communities, turning the lights on in empty buildings, easing licensing restriction and costs for venues and above all offering audiences and patrons exciting new nightlife options.” 

The taskforce has been examining key challenges facing night-time culture since July last year, including regulations, licensing laws, transport and diversity of cultural activities, all with the aim of identifying solutions and opportunities.  

Practical Solutions 

Chair of the international best practice sub-group Hazel Chu added: “The actions outlined seek practical solutions to obstacles and challenges for the night-time economy, or seek to explore new and better ways of doing things using existing structures.

“Extended late-night accessible transport options, safe environments for patrons and workers overseen by community plans and late retail openings, are some of the many recommendations that will transform modern cultural life for young and old in Ireland, as well as attract nightlife tourism in line with other popular destinations in Europe.”

The report’s 36 proposed actions involve a range of government departments, agencies and night-time economy stakeholders and covers a number of initiatives and pilot projects.

This includes piloting six new ‘night-time economy advisors’ in six cities and towns to develop new opportunities; improved transport options with proposed new 24-hour routes; the extension of opening hours in the national cultural institutions; and developing new pilot projects for late night activity.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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