Reports that nightclubs look set to be allowed to stay open later and Sunday pub opening hours will be extended later this year under a plan by the justice minister to reform the licensing laws have been welcomed.
The Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee, is expected to launch the Justice Plan 2021 and the Department of Justice's new Strategy Statement this morning.
It’s understood that the Minister will announce plans to change pub opening hours as part of this plan.
Ernest Cantillon, who owns Electric and Sober Lane welcomed the proposed changes.
“These moves from the Minister are positive. Cork has the earliest closing time out of all the major cities in Ireland. To get a level playing field would be great. It is potentially good news. It would be good to see reform as some of the rules are antiquated.
“Businesses need a boost. Everybody will benefit from these changes, the exchequer, business owners and people going out enjoying themselves. It is pro-business,” he said.
The Cork businessman also welcomed suggestions changes may be forthcoming with regards to the elite nightclub exemption.
“They are also looking to change the cost of elite nightclub exemption. For a premises to stay open late you have to have a dance license for each night which is a costly process. It is totally prohibitive for smaller venues. There is talk of adjusting this which would be a big reform.”