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16th Sep 2021

Irish pubs and nightclubs could be given 6am closing time after 22 October reopening

Clara Kelly

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

Minister for Culture Catherine Martin has said that there could be room to see Irish pubs and clubs allowed to reopen until 6am after their long-awaited reopening on 22 October.

Speaking at the launch of the night-time economy taskforce report in Dublin, she told the Irish Mirror that “the opportunity should be there”.

When asked if she would like to see drinking and dancing be permitted until 6am throughout the country, she told the publication: “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.”

The taskforce was set up ahead of the reopening of Irish nightclubs which is currently scheduled for 22 October.

The report recommended getting rid of some of Ireland’s dated licensing laws in favour of a unified bill on the sale of alcohol, which may hopefully see opening hours extended.

It comes as the first pilot nightclub event since the pandemic began is set to be hosted on Thursday, 30 September at the Button Factory in Dublin, it was announced on Wednesday.

The fully standing show will allow dancing and will see 450 people attending, which is 60% of the venue’s maximum capacity.

Tickets for the gig hosted by Hidden Agenda and District 8 in consultation with Give us the Night, will go on sale this Friday, 17 September.

Popular Irish acts such as Sunil Sharpe, Cailin R.Kitt, DART, Kelly Anne Byrne, Sim Simma, Breen and Cait Sam Greenwood are set to lead the line-up with two rooms of music spanning from 8.20pm until half-past midnight.

All high-risk events including nightclubs are set to reopen from 22 October with CMO Dr Tony Holohan confirming on Wednesday that Ireland is still on track for the full reopening.

“We think we’re not far away from a point whereby all of the criteria we set out in our advice to government, which is accepted as a basis for moving towards our next phase in terms of management of the pandemic,” he said at a Department of Health press conference.

He added that the vaccination target of 90% is very close to being achieved and “a lot of encouraging trends” are currently happening in terms of the incidence rate of the virus in many age cohorts.

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