Extended hours for pubs and nightclubs among reform measures

Extended hours for pubs and nightclubs among reform measures

By Joleen Murphy

New plans to reform alcohol licensing laws are to be announced today.

Extended opening hours for pubs and nightclubs are among the measures, along with a streamlined application process for an alcohol license.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee hopes they'll help revitalise a sector that has been hardest hit by the pandemic.


Chief Executive of the Vintners Federation, Padraig Cribben, is questioning the Minister's timing with the plan.

"This may be good, this may be bad. But the bottom line is, it's the wrong time to be flying this kind of kite to create more  anxiety for members at a time when they are already under severe stress."

A bar owner says plans to allow drink be sold later and in more more venues could be the moment the night-time economy gets "dragged into the 21st century".

Justice Minister Helen McEntee says changes to licencing laws will help revitalise the hospitality trade after the pandemic.


The Vintners' Federation of Ireland says nightclub licences should only be issued to businesses which already have a licence to trade as pubs.

Proposals to get rid of a fee of over 400 euro which pubs and nightclubs have to pay to stay open late have been welcomed by the Licenced Vintners Federation.

The new legislation would mean pubs and clubs will no longer have to go court for a late license.

Rory O'Connor, who owns Panti Bar in Dublin, says the present system of is hopelessly out of date.


"Anyone who wants to stay open after midnight in this country, has until now, had to go and get the really expensive extension for every single night that you want to stay open.

"It makes staying open uneconomical, unless you're a huge place that packs the punters in.

"The night time economy is an important one and it's one that needs to be dragged into the 21st century."

Rory O'Neill, says the current system is outdated.

"You have to pay for each individual license for each individual night you want to stay open later and you have to pay for a berrister to turn up and represent you in court.

"The whole system is so archaic and complicated and difficult to understand.

"It is such a difficult and complicated that hasn't be overhauled in a very long time. So this is a really welcome proposal."