As we all know, there is a very important general election taking place this Saturday for the first time in four years. This is an opportunity for us all to have our say in our future and it’s very important everyone vote’s. We’re not here to tell you who to vote for, but with the help of ‘Give Us The Night’ we can help inform you on the main political parties views on nightlife, club culture but most notably, licensing in Ireland.

If you’re not familiar with ‘Give Us The Night’ yet you can head over and read their website and mandate here and learn about the fantastic work they’re doing to save Irish club culture. They have been very vocal and informative in the lead up to this election and have released a series updates about some of the key issues and information surrounding the topic.

Most recently they have released the following information which is the statement or policy from each major political party on their views on some of the issues we are facing. (Listed alphabetically)

Fianna Fáil
No policy provided.

Fine Gael
Fine Gael wants to see the establishment of local committees and ‘night mayors’ to advance and improve our night-time entertainment, creative and cultural offerings. To this end, we are commencing two pilots, one in Dublin and one in Cork. As part of this, consideration will be given to public transport, public safety, licensing regulations and venue availability, but any changes will be balanced with the needs and concerns of local communities.

Green Party Ireland
Review and revise the current licensing legislation to facilitate late night openings for bars and venues across the country to enhance and revitalise our night time culture and economy.
Provide the supports needed to appoint Night Mayors for our major cities.
Develop multipurpose accessible venues nationwide to accommodate both daytime and night-time cultural and creative activities.

Labour Party
Labour will support the night-time economy by expanding 24-hour public transport services on key routes to improve access to cultural and social spaces within cities and towns. We will review the current licensing system to allow pubs, night clubs and off-licenses to extend their licenses. We will ensure towns and cities retain enough venues for cultural activities.

People Before Profit
Too many night-time venues and clubs have closed in the last few years, only to be bulldozed to make way for grey hotels or office blocks.

Local councils must support more performances and exhibitions in public spaces – they should protect existing spaces from greedy developers too. To make matters worse, our archaic licensing laws strangle the life out of nightlife. Clubs and other venues close earlier in Dublin than they do anywhere else in Europe. Not only does this deny people the opportunity to access music and entertainment on their terms, it fuels other problems too – like anyone who has seen the city centre after 3AM will attest to.

It makes no sense to close all the clubs in the city at once. We should follow the lead of the Give Us The Night campaign, which calls for positive changes to our night-life. For working people, the hours in the evening after work are when we are free to enjoy arts and culture but most venues are closed. Galleries, theatres and other cultural spaces should offer late-night openings to better accommodate working people. The arts and culture belong to the people – let’s fund them properly and make them accessible to all!

Sinn Féin Ireland
The night time economy, so important to the cultural sector and to tourist sector, is being shut down by rising property and insurance costs and out of date legislation. This has the extremely negative consequence of impacting participation levels, giving fewer and fewer people access to ticketed cultural events and fewer parents able to afford the after-school activity, such as music, dance, and drama classes. Introduce a designated ‘night venue’ classification in planning and licensing law.

Social Democrats
Support the establishment of Night Mayors in each of our major cities. Revitalise our night-time cultural economy by legislating for later opening hours for venues and bars, as well as extending the hours of public transport systems.

All of the above information is beneficial in using upon casting your vote this Saturday (8th February 2020) and could help play a role in making Dublin nightlife great again and making sure we don’t lose any more of our loved venues.

Check out the Give Us The Night Facebook page to stay up to date with their work and progress. Below is one of their images which is aiming to highlight the current state of Irish licensing.

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