- 22 Jan 19
The first Give us the Night public meeting was held at a packed out Sugar Club on Monday evening.
A full house was in attendance at The Sugar Club on Monday evening for the first in a number of meeting to be held by independent group Give Us The Night which aims to bring about change with regards to Ireland's night industry and the laws governing it.
The agenda was as busy as the event itself with a number of challenges currently facing the night industry discussed by founder Sunil Sharpe, who has been fundamental in re-launching the group in recent years.
One of the biggest issues highlighted at the event was the licensing laws that have contributed to the closure of a number of venues recently.
“It’s been a slow and silent death for a lot of businesses,” Sunil explained.
"We’ve noticed our club scene shrinking which has been very sad to see."
He emphasized that this is not the first the government are hearing of the issue either. Back in the mid-200s Michael McDowell was close to reforming the licensing laws, according to Sunil, but didn’t get the support he needed to get it passed through the dáil.
“There’s been acknowledgment from the government that something does need to change and there are basic errors in our licensing laws that need to change”.
Another issue raised was the fact that music venues being demolished are not being replaced.
"What we would like to ensure in the future is that when venues like this do shut, and councils are allowing the venues to be bulldozed, that they come up with a plan to replace these venues elsewhere", Sunil said.
"The government and council have lots of space. There are a lot of spaces that wouldn’t be suitable as social housing but would be suitable as creative spaces that could be used throughout the day and into the night. The council and government are sitting on a lot of these. We need to open their mind to this".
The cultural importance of these venues was particularly highlighted.
"When you take a venue away you’re killing something and we all feel that at the moment".
This comes as District 8 follows in a long line of closures, with its last events to be held at the end of this month.
The main emphasis on the night was on the need for as many business owners as possible who are involved in the night industry to get involved with the movement. They also issued a call out for anyone with free time to act as a researcher or otherwise get involved with the campaign.
When the floor was opened up to the audience, the need for USI involvement, possible on the spot protests and provision for more venues to act as rehearsal spaces for musicians were among the issues raised.
Give Us The Night are also holding public meetings over the next two weeks in Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th respectively. The details and locations for these meetings are attached and linked below:
The Future Of Irish Nightlife: Galway
The Future of Irish Nightlife: Limerick
The Future of Irish Nightlife: Cork
The Future of Irish Nightlife: Waterford
Photography by: Danielle Ronan
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