, Culture Minister supports Give Us The Night campaign’s mandate for a night mayor & staggered closing times
Culture Minister Josepha Madigan launching Hard Working Class Heroes in 2018, in the Chocolate Factory. Photo: Ruth Medjber

After having met with representatives of the nightlife economy at a recent meeting in Dublin, the Culture Minister Josepha Madigan has indicated that the government are looking at proposals by Give Us The Night campaign to bring Ireland’s night-life legislation up to date with much of the rest of Europe.

Fine Gael have taken these considerations on board in their local election manifesto, and say that they are looking at stagger closing times and the introduction of night mayors to facilitate such changes.

Listen to our recent podcast special about the Give Us The Night campaign and current nightlife issues.

Talking to reporters, Madigan said “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”.

“It’s about opening art galleries and perhaps showcasing different types of events in our cultural institutions,” Madigan continued. “Rather than somebody going out on a date to a pub or a restaurant in the evenings, they might go to the museum or a gallery,” she said before adding that whether night mayors would be paid for their work would have to be “teased out,” citing cities such as London and Amsterdam who have instituted the night mayor role. Madigan says she will publish findings on the matter before the summer.

“What type of cultural events do and do not work at night time, what are the challenges for running these events and which venues are the most suitable?,” she added. “This will identify the areas that need to be addressed and will help us take action and bring about change.”

The Fine Gael manifesto relevant to this reads:
“A vibrant and diverse night-life is an important part of the cultural offering of any urban area. It makes our towns and cities more attractive and interesting places to live and helps attract domestic and international tourists. Fine Gael wants to see the establishment of local committees and ‘night mayors’ to advance and improve our night time entertainment, creative and cultural offerings. Consideration will be given to licensing regulations, venue availability and changes will be balanced with the needs of residential areas.”

If the party in government is seriously considering these changes it’s time for all other parties to clarify their stance on the issue before election day on May 24th. So what can you do? You can engage any candidate on the following questions when doorstepped or via email.

1. Do you support the Give Us The Night campaign?
2. Will you ask your party to support this campaign?
3. What is your position on Ireland’s need for licensing reform?
4. How would you improve the Irish night-time economy?
5. What is your vision for music and culture at night in Ireland?
6. Why am I restricted from socialising in Ireland in the way other European Union residents do?

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