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02nd Apr 2022

Nightclubs reportedly to be given new 6am closing time under new legislation

Major changes could be on the way for Ireland’s licensing laws.

Nightclubs in Ireland are to be allowed stay open until 6am as part of major changes to the country’s licensing laws, according to reports.

The Irish Daily Mail states that new legislation will enable nightclubs to operate at different times to late bars and pubs.

As part of this, nightclubs would need to apply for an annual nightclub permit.

Government sources told the paper that Justice Minister Helen McEntee will be publishing details of the new licensing laws within weeks and that the legislation will go before the Oireachtas ahead of the summer recess.

As part of current laws, nightclubs and late bars are only permitted to trade until 2.30am if they acquire a Special Exemption Order (SEO) from the District Court costing €410 a night.

During the pandemic though, the Government announced a waiver of SEOs fees, which will be in effect until the end of April.

However, a report last year from the Night-Time Economy Taskforce set up by Culture Minister Catherine Martin recommended replacing the current licensing system with an annual nightclub permit.

Speaking at the launch of the report last September, Martin said that there could be room to see Irish pubs and clubs allowed to stay open until 6am, telling reporters “the opportunity should be there”.

When asked if she would like to see drinking and dancing be permitted until 6am throughout the country, she responded:

“Yes, why not, I think that opportunity should be there.

“I think shutting down, Dublin, we’re working way behind our other European cities.

“It can be done, it can be done in a safe way and I think that option definitely should be there.”