‘Piecemeal’ approach to licensing laws must be resisted, says SenatorGary Ibbotson 31 Jan 2023
In advance of the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s discussion of licensing law reform today, Labour culture and employment spokesperson Marie Sherlock said longer opening hours must be carried out in tandem with a full modernisation of Ireland’s night economy.
Without a series of changes to access to public transport, a living wage for workers and safe public areas, Senator Sherlock said the much hoped boost for the night time economy will not materialise.
“It’s beyond time that Ireland’s licensing laws were reformed,” Senator Sherlock said.
“There has been a lack of vision and ambition for Ireland’s night economy for many years, exemplified by the hollowing out of Ireland’s club culture.
“The refreshed approach is badly needed and today the Justice Committee will delve into the detail of what else needs to be done to ensure a thriving night economy.
“Without a series of changes, the much hoped for boost for the night economy will not become reality.
“Longer opening hours will be meaningless without decent and safe public transport hours, strong terms and conditions for workers and safe public spaces after dark.
“For revellers and workers alike, safe public transport options are critical.
“We need to see more all-night services that run all week to ensure people working late can avail of public transport.
“We’re living in the dark days in Ireland still expecting people to pay for taxis or have a lift organised. All other European cities operate services like this.
“It is disappointing to see that the National Transport Authority is already trying to put the brakes on such a move.
“Government need to shift gear and leave the NTA under no illusion that longer public transport hours is the only direction of travel.
“In discussions with government on this today, the question is not should it happen, it will be about the extent of the service to ensure people throughout the country have viable and safe public transport options.”