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Home > Economic and social impact assessment of the proposed regulation of the nightclub industry in Ireland.

Gurdgiev, Constantin (2009) Economic and social impact assessment of the proposed regulation of the nightclub industry in Ireland. Dublin: Irish Nightclub Industry Association.

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There is no such thing as a nightclub in Irish licensing legislation. Nightclubs in Ireland are currently licensed under the Public Dance Halls Act 1935. Consequently the Irish Nightclub Industry Association [hereinafter, INIA] have long sought reform of the regulation of the nightclub industry in Ireland. The purpose of this research is to look at the current system, and assess the proposals of the INIA both in terms of economic and social impacts. Since the formation of the Commission on Liquor Licensing in 2000, five Intoxicating Liquor Bills have been introduced to Dail Eireann, four of which have been passed into law. With the exception of the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2005, which was never enacted, the Bills have been focused on dealing with specific issues, and each described as not being the panacea. The forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill is set to review, modernise and streamline licensing in Ireland, in all of its forms, largely based on the recommendations of the Commission on Liquor Licensing [final report in April 2003], and more recently the Government Alcohol Advisory Group [March 2008].

The Department of Justice passed the Intoxicating Liquor Bill 2008 through both houses of the Oireachtas, and passed it into law, effective Wednesday 30th July 2008. This piece of legislation introduced three new requirements for venues seeking Special Exemption Orders; adequate CCTV, licensed security staff, and compliance with the Building Control Act 1990, where applicable. All three of these requirements have been features of the nightclub permit which the INIA have promoted in their various submissions and dealings with the above Commission, Advisory Group, and the Department of Justice.
This research evaluates proposals set out by the INIA for introducing (subject to specific conditions) a nationwide nightclub permit, for standard trading hours across the seven nights of the week, for the re-introduction of entertainment during drinking up time, and for reforming the system of closing times to introduce sequential closing hours and extended operating hours in our capital city, Dublin. Each of these proposals has economic and/or social impacts, which are assessed and documented by the author.


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