- 21 Apr 22
"We urgently need the Government to address this issue," the group have stated.
Give Us The Night – an independent group of night-time industry professionals campaigning for positive changes to nightlife in Ireland – are urging the Government not to reintroduce late licence fees for venues operating beyond normal pub hours. These nightly fees of €410 have been waived since the industry reopened, but according to a statement from Give Us The Night, plans are currently in place to bring them back, with venues "expected to commit the money towards these fees for the month of May by this Friday."
The group note that this developing situation "threatens the immediate future of venues and events around the country."
"The industry is trying to recover, and this will lead to venues not opening as regularly, less events taking place, less gigs to play at or go to, a loss of employment, and worse again the distinct possibility of more venue losses," Give Us The Night remark in the statement, which has been shared across their social media platforms.
"Given the work that has already been undertaken by a range of government departments, to help revive and improve nightlife, we cannot understand why the Government would choose to reimpose these fees (which amount to tiny small change for the Exchequer).
"These discriminatory costs, known as Special Exemption Orders (SEOs), only apply to nightclubs because successive governments have not bothered to create specific licences, forcing the industry into an antiquated licensing system that is relevant to traditional bars and so-called 'special events' from bygone eras. A specific licence has been promised since 2005, and with a bit of luck this licence will finally be established by later this year.
"While we continue to wait (14 months on from the Department of Justice's official announcement of a revised licensing bill), we see it as being a huge error of judgement by this government, if it reintroduces SEO costs at this point. We need Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath and their cabinet colleagues to instead continue the waiver until the end of the year when licensing reforms should finally be in place."
Give Us The Night are calling on the public to contact the relevant ministers, and tell them that "this waiver must be extended."
The group have also shared an Uplift.ie link, which allows the public to use a template email to contact Minister Paschal Donohoe, Minister Catherine Martin, Minister Michael McGrath and Minister Helen McEntee about the issue.
"Please pass the message around and encourage your friends and colleagues to get in contact too," Give Us The Night conclude. "We urgently need the Government to address this issue."
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