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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan.
city culture

Government considering staggered closing times and 'night mayors' to enhance Irish nightlife

The minister has suggested a night mayor for cities such as Dublin could be beneficial.

NIGHTCLUBS HAVING STAGGERED finishing times to stop crowds of people spilling onto the streets in the early hours of the morning is something that should be looked at, according to Culture Minister Josepha Madigan.

The issue of licensing times as well as the introduction of night mayors is under examination as part of a nationwide effort to enhance night-time culture in Ireland.

When asked about licensing times, Madigan said it “is an issue we are looking at. There is perhaps an argument to say we could stagger an approach so that not everyone is coming out on the street at the same time”.

She said it is a matter that needs to be worked on collaboratively with all stakeholders. 

Give Us The Night, an independent volunteer group of professionals operating within the night-time industry, has been campaigning for a change in Ireland’s licensing laws.

Madigan said there is an opportunity to have a discussion about the “rich culture” Irish cities have to offer, adding that it is not just about nightclubs. 

If introduced, night mayors would be responsible for making sure there is more on offer at night than just going to the pub, stating that people going on dates should have more places to go other than the pub, such as museums and art galleries.

Madigan said she isn’t sure if the mayors would be paid for their work, stating that exact details need to be “teased out” before any decision on the proposals is made.

She said the role of the mayors has worked well in other cities such as London and Amsterdam.

Having carried out a stakeholder consultation into such issues in April, the minister said she will publish the findings ahead of the summer.

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