Group set up to improve night-time culture and economy

Taskforce to examine reforms of venue licensing laws and late night transport

The Government is to set up a taskforce to develop a "vibrant and sustainable" night-time culture and economy, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts and Culture Catherine Martin has announced.

The group will include officials from several departments and agencies, and DJ Sunil Sharpe of Give us the Night, a group set up to campaign for reform of late-night venue licensing laws. The Lord mayors of Dublin and Cork city will also be included in the taskforce.

The commitment to set up a taskforce to develop Ireland’s night-time economy was included in the Coalition’s Programme for Government.

Speaking on Thursday, Ms Martin said the group would “look at all the challenges facing the development of a vibrant night-time culture and economy.”

These would include “regulations, licensing laws, transport, and diversity of cultural activities,” she said.

The group will be chaired by officials from her department with its first meeting to take place in the coming weeks, she said. It will be expected to complete a report setting out its policy recommendations to Ms Martin within six months.

“I want creative thinking and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the night-time economy and I want every opportunity explored and maximised,” the Green Party deputy leader said.

“Covid-19 has severely restricted social gatherings and has been detrimental to the night time economy and culture of our cities, towns and villages,” she said.

“However, as the economy opens up in the coming months (dependent on the current health advice), the industry needs to be ready to bounce back and to have as few obstacles as possible to develop and grow,” she said.