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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
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McEntee acknowledges public 'frustration' over delay in extending pub and club opening hours

It was promised that licensing law changes would be enacted by this summer.

JUSTICE MINISTER HELEN McEntee has said she “appreciates people’s frustration” around the delay in licensing law changes which will allow nightclubs open until 6am and pubs open until 12.30am. 

The Government had promised late night pub and club openings would be in operation by this summer. 

The Journal asked the minister for an updated timeline on when late night openings might be in place, with the minister stating that she intends to bring forward the legislation “as quickly as possible”. 

The minister gave no firm date as to when it is hoped the licensing law changes will be enacted. 

She said she is working very closely with the Attorney General and the Office of Parliamentary Council, stating:

It is my intention to bring it to Government as soon as possible.

Some of these laws that are to be reformed date back to the 19th century, while two thirds of the laws predate the foundation of the State 100 years ago.

Due to this, McEntee said the bill is “very lengthy”, with 500 heads to the bill.

“So it is important to get it right,” she said, while acknowledging that the fact the legislation hasn’t been brought forward sooner has impacted on some venues and businesses.

“I do believe that we can publish this in the coming months,” said the minister, who stated that the law change is not just about the night time economy but also about “making it easier for businesses to function and to operate”.

Speaking at an event yesterday where additional support for the night time economy was being launched, the Arts Minister Catherine Martin also acknowledged there is “great frustration” over the progress of the bill.

She said it is hoped the legislation can progress this year, adding that she knows it is an “absolute priority” for the justice minister.

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