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Sharp fall in nightclubs seeking late licences

The number of clubs and bars applying for opening-hours exemptions has dropped significantly since 2008.

Revellers at a nightclub in Dublin
Revellers at a nightclub in Dublin
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF nightclubs and bars seeking late-opening licences has dropped significantly in the last four years, official figures show.

In 2008, 78,711 establishments applied for special exemption orders allowing them to open past the normal legal closing time for pubs and bars.

But by 2010, the last year for which full figures are available, that number had dropped to 64,878 – a decrease of 17.5 per cent.

The number is expected to fall further when statistics for 2011 are compiled, the Courts Service has said. No figures are currently available for 2012.

Nightclubs and bars must pay a €300 fee when applying for a special exemption order. This fee was increased from€100 in July 2008.

Club owners must also notify the gardaí at least 48 hours before applying to the courts for an exemption order. However, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said he intends to examine whether the 48-hour window is long enough.

Column: Irish pubs are a safe haven and a welcome hearth. We need them>

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Michael Freeman

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