Cork publicans dismiss talk of staggering pub closing times

Cork publicans dismiss talk of staggering pub closing times

Publicans in Cork have dismissed Government suggestions of staggering the closing times of bars and nightclubs.

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan recently suggested staggering closing times for venues.

She said taxi services and Gardaí have been dealing with high volumes of people when bars close around 1:30am and 2am across the country. 

“It is an issue that we’re looking at. There is, perhaps, an argument to say that we could stagger an approach so that not everybody is coming out on the street at the same time," she said.

Benny McCabe in the Bodega Bar in Cork. Picture: Des Barry.
Benny McCabe in the Bodega Bar in Cork. Picture: Des Barry.

However, Cork publican Ernest Cantillon who operates Bar Electric found the idea unrealistic, questioning how staggering closing times could be managed. 

“I don’t think it’s going to happen, I don’t see how they’re going to be able to do it. These things are curious stories that come out just before an election, why is there suddenly a big push on this now when there are people who have been lobbying for this for years but now before an election, I’d be sceptical of the timing," he said.

Mr Cantillon also said the issue of violence or trouble at closing time has begum much rarer.

“Most people behave and most people look after each other, we’d rarely have these instances in the bars. Were talking years since we’ve had to call the Guards.” 

Benny McCabe who operates The Crane Lane, Rising Sons and Mutton Lane bars along with a number of other Cork venues said the suggestion is short-sighted and only benefits Dublin.

 “Up to the advent of MyTaxi and other taxi apps, that statement of everybody being out on the streets at the same time would have been correct but I work as a doorman three nights out of the week and that hasn’t been an issue for the last number of years because everybody has used MyTaxi.”

“What that means is that it has opened the pressure valve if you like. So everybody isn’t rushing for their taxis, they know it has been pre-arranged, everybody knows their drivers.” 

McCabe said the proposal to stagger closing times is outdated but with the projected population growth in Cork, it will be relevant again in time.

“I’ll make a prediction, with the population that’s predicted for Cork in the next ten years this conversation will be valid in another 10 years, as it was 10 years ago but it’s not valid now.”

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