Sinn Féin bring motion to save the night-time economy – Senator Fintan Warfield
Sinn Féin Senator Fintan Warfield has announced the party will bring forward a motion in the Seanad tomorrow to improve the night-time economy.
The motion will be debated tomorrow at 7.30pm and calls on the government to urgently introduce a package of measures to save and improve nightlife which is under immense pressure across the state.
Speaking today, Senator Warfield said:
"Night-life and night-time entertainment are the beating hearts of communities in cities and towns across the state. This culture is under severe threat and urgent action is needed to stand up for communities to ensure that this culture is protected and supported.
“We have been losing cultural spaces and venues at an alarming rate. Despite this, the government has failed to act and has ignored the calls of the sector for much-needed support.
"There were 522 nightclubs in the year 2000. There are only 85 left. The situation is dire and getting worse. Nightclubs not only employ staff across hospitality and the arts and culture sector, they are an important community space for people to gather and express themselves culturally.
"Property costs, prohibitive insurance premiums, restrictive licensing laws and associated fees have had a crippling effect on businesses and cultural activity. More and more people feel forced to leave cities like Dublin to move abroad, because they simply cannot envision a life in the city’s hostile environment towards culture and the arts.
"Successive Governments have failed to sufficiently update legislation. Current legislation is out of date and unfit for the year 2022.
“Sinn Féin’s motion sets out clearly what needs to happen now. This includes reforming licensing laws, trading hours and an end to early closing on Sundays. It also calls for increased roll out of 24 hour bus routes, fairer regulations for taxis and harm reduction campaigns to ensure communities remain safe.
"In recent years campaigners have called out the problems and the solutions. In September it will be a year since the Night-Time Economy Task Force presented the Government with a list of actions that need to be taken. Despite this, the government has yet to publish its plan.
"It is over to the Minister. The solutions are there if the political will is there.
"It is time that the Department of Justice announced its proposals for licensing law reform so we can get this over the line.
“Sinn Féin in government would stand up for communities to ensure that the night-time economy is protected and enabled to thrive.”
Note to editors: The motion is available to view here