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“Ireland’s Extended Licensing Laws Delayed Until 2024, Sparking Disappointment and Criticism”

todayJuly 31, 2023 1

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“Ireland’s Extended Licensing Laws Delayed Until 2024, Sparking Disappointment and Criticism”

Ireland’s extended licensing laws won’t come in until next year, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed.

“I think it unlikely it will be the case for Christmas,” Varadkar told a summer briefing for political journalists last week. “That would mean getting the legislation published and enacted before Christmas. Even when it’s enacted, there’s a whole licensing system that has to be gone through.”

He continued: “I can say it will not be the case that those laws will be in place for this Christmas. But I would hope they can be in place for next summer. It’s something I discussed with Minister McEntee and the Attorney General only in the last couple of days. They’re trying to put some additional resources behind that bill and to get it done so we can have a later summer next summer.”

Robbie Kitt, a Dublin-based DJ who is part of the nightlife campaign group Give Us The Night, said that the decision was a “big disappointment,” but also to be expected. “The frustration here is that the government have been engaged in an extensive process of consultation on this bill since it formed in 2020,” he told Resident Advisor.

Kitt continued: “These are moderate reforms that barely bring us line with our European counterparts. We’re trying to overturn incredibly archaic laws like the Public Dance Halls Act, a piece of legislation introduced in the 1930s on the back of fears of the Catholic Church regarding the sexual behaviour of young people. Despite all the work that’s gone in to this, it’s depressing to see the approach to changing rules which entirely restrict the social capacity of people in this country being regarded with the same fear and inaction.”

His comments were echoed by the group’s founder Sunil Sharpe, who told Virgin Media that the decision to delay until next year proves that the licensing laws extension isn’t a priority for the government.

“We believe that it could be in place by the end of the year,” Sharpe said. “But what they can do in the short term is get rid of exemption order costs.”

The government agreed to overhaul Ireland’s centuries-old alcohol licensing laws last October, meaning nightclubs will be able to stay open until 6 AM. Though the bill has been published and approved by the cabinet, it’s yet to pass into legislation.

Last week, the government also launched a noise mitigation grant scheme to coincide with the opening hours extension. Announced on Wednesday, July 18th, the scheme will help clubs and late-night venues become more soundproof. €2 million in funding has been made available, with a maximum grant of €70,000 per application.

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Written by: Artificial Intelligence Technology

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