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Cork Independent


Cork ‘can set precedent’ for nightlife

Wednesday, 23rd January, 2019 4:41pm

A group calling for radical changes to Ireland’s nightlife says Cork can be central in shaping the country’s night culture.

The Give Us the Night campaign group is set to hold a public meeting in Cork next week as it aims to address Ireland’s "decades out of date” laws on clubbing. The group is holding the meeting in The Roundy bar this Tuesday 29 January at 6.45pm.

The volunteer group is calling for changes including loosening licencing laws for venues, giving more power to local authorities and greater promotion of the nightlife economy.

“The night-time economy is becoming more and more important to cities, but our licencing laws are decades out of date,” said Sunil Sharpe from Give Us the Night.

“The programming is too restrictive and caught up in red tape, and the Government and Councils are not there to work with club owners, promoters, venue owners at the moment.”

Sunil says that with a plebiscite on a directly elected mayor likely to take place this year, it may be Leeside’s time to lead the way on transforming nightlife in Ireland.

“This goes beyond just music venues, it’s about how all businesses work together in later hours. If you look closer, it affects shops, restaurants… anyone that’s involved in the night-time industry can benefit if a more diverse programme of events becomes the norm.

“We think Cork can set a precedent. In fact, it might be able to do it before Dublin, with Cork having the chance to install a directly-elected mayor. With that, the chances of installing a night mayor increases too, that is usually how it plays out in other cities.

“Cork is interesting in that it could push forward with this very fast, if stakeholders get around the table and ask those around them what they would really like.”

Sunil added that there was a “’can-do’ feeling” among young people to influence change following last year’s Repeal referendum.

“A change for nightlife is coming, and it’s up to those involved to get behind it and influence what that will look like. We’re coming down to Cork to see what stakeholders want, and it is up to us to get politicians, parties and others on board. Let’s celebrate nightlife and make it part of who we are, create more jobs, get more creative people involved, and give young entrepreneurs and business owners a chance.”

In a response to the Cork Independent, the Department of Justice said that while there were “no immediate plans to amend the law in relation to special exemption orders, the Department keeps the operation of the Licensing Acts under ongoing review.”

‘The Future of Irish Nightlife’ by Give Us the Night group takes place on Tuesday 29 January at 6.45pm in The Roundy, and all are welcome.

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