We have had quite a few questions recently regarding the outgoing Fianna Fáil government’s Sale of Alcohol Bill. You probably don’t need us to tell you this but it will not be published this side of the election. The bill itself has been worked on for almost eight years, and has unbelievably still not been completed. Dermot Ahern and his department had a lot of work to do on the bill and were unlikely to reach completion on it anytime soon.
What we are interested in now is the incoming government, and whether or not the Sale of Alcohol Bill will be in its programme for government. This is the single most important assurance we need to get from a prospective government party in advance of the election.
If you have time – amongst the many other issues you will probably have with canvassing candidates – we urge you to bring up the matter of Ireland’s licensing laws and the urgent need for a complete overhaul, with anyone you meet or speak to. What you need to be very clear on is that this particular bill will dictate the next changes to our closing times, and indeed any other areas of the alcohol licensing laws that you may be unhappy with. The extra-early closing time of 1am on Sunday nights is another issue that we feel needs to be changed as soon as possible; mentioning this is also advised.
While speaking to election candidates is massively important, zoning in on each of the main parties’ justice spokespersons is even more vital. Here is each of their emails if you would like to contact them:
- Fine Gael: Alan Shatter – email@example.com
- Labour: Pat Rabbitte – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Green Party: Ciarán Cuffe – ciaran. cuffe @ oireachtas.ie
- Sinn Féin: Aengus Ó Snodaigh – email@example.com
- Fine Fáil: John Curran – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you work in the industry, if you feel that later opening can benefit the economy, or if you simply feel that that you’d like the choice to be in a nightclub beyond 2/2.30am please let it be known. There is no doubt that the licensing laws will change for the better eventually, and under a new government we feel that that time may be coming closer.
We know that many people have grown weary with the lack of progress on an extension to the closing times, but there literally has not been a better time to make your voice heard on this as now.
Feel free to pass this message onto anyone you think may be interested.
Give Us The Night Team