Nightclub opening hour bill hit with setback 

In a follow up to a story previously posted on The Liberty, the promise of nightclubs opening until 6am this summer seems to be breaking, after a significant push back from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the government. 

A letter from the RSA was sent to then Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, expressing their concern regarding later opening hours. 

The letter stated that the RSA is “concerned that later licensing/opening hours for bars, restaurants and nightclubs will have a further negative impact on road safety in Ireland, particularly in the absence of significant increases in roads policing numbers.” 

These concerns come despite An Garda Síochána stating that they are “comfortable” with the current plans to allow for later closing hours due to the likelihood of staggered closing times.  

Staggered closing times would replace the current system of kicking all customers out of the venue at the end of the night, which puts greater pressure on policing, taxis and the minimal late night public transport which is available all night. 

“We’ve been held back compared to other European countries, it’s time for change, we no longer conform to these archaic laws,” Billy Menelaou, a Dublin based promoter and booker, said.

Concerns have also been raised by nightlife advocates, give us the night, regarding the misinterpretation of the new rules especially favoring the benefits to pubs and disregarding the many benefits to the Irish nightclub and electronic music culture. 

“We’ve seen so many talented Irish artists give up on our scene over here because of the lack of opportunities. They get more respect and attention abroad because of the greater space given to artists,” Menelau said.

Emphasis has been placed on the cultural significance of these spaces instead of being treated solely for drinking alcohol into the early hours of the morning.

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