- 25 Oct 22
It is intended that the bill will be enacted at some stage in 2023.
Under new proposals heading to Cabinet today, nightclubs will have the option to remain open until 6am while pubs are also expected to be granted the choice of longer opening hours.
While venues will be prohibited from serving alcohol after 5am, closing time can be an hour later “subject to strict conditions”. Opening hours for late bars will remain at 2.30am, and a new permit will be required.
The conditions for a late bar and nightclub permit include a requirement to have CCTV on the premises and have security staff properly accredited with the Private Security Authority.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee will seek approval for the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill to modernise Ireland's 200-year-old licencing laws. Two thirds of the laws predate the foundation of the State 100 years ago.
The Justice Minister began work on modernising these laws in 2021 (the Dance Hall Act in particular) and previously said she is committed to enacting alcohol licensing laws “that reflect the changing expectations and lifestyles of 21st century Ireland”.
It’s said the General Scheme of the Sale of Alcohol Bill will lead to “one modern piece of legislation to regulate the sale of alcohol”.
The move to allow nightclubs to open later will hopefully develop Ireland’s night-time culture and economy.
It is understood that the nightclub permits will largely be availed of by bigger nightclubs and venues in places like Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
In addition to allowing nightclubs to remain open until 6am, other reform measures include standardised opening hours for pubs, with the option to open from 10:30AM to 12.30AM, seven days a week.
Opening hours for late bars will remain at 2.30am and a new late bar permit will be required.
Late night venues require a Special Exemption in order to open, and the cost of applying for one was halved in the recent budget from €110 to €55.
To assuage public health concerns, the new bill will also emphasise that the sale of alcohol cannot be treated like the sale of any other good.
“We must retain restrictions on its sale and on who is permitted to sell it, and to whom,” the Cabinet memo states.
"These proposals will ensure that the sale of alcohol will remain closely regulated."
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 21 Jan 22