Cabinet to discuss new 6am closing time for nightclubs today

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Plans to change Ireland’s 200-year-old licencing laws will be discussed by Cabinet this morning, which would result in longer opening hours for pubs and nightclubs.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee will look for approval for pubs to be allowed to remain open until 12.30am seven days a week, while nightclubs will be allowed to stay open until 6am.

On Sundays, pubs are currently permitted to remain open from 12.30pm to 11pm, while opening times from Monday to Thursday are generally from 10.30am to 11.30pm.

Under the new closing time for nightclubs, alcohol will not be served after 5am but people can stay in the premises until 6am.

These nightclub permits are likely to be sought by larger nightclubs, mainly in cities.

Opening hours for late bars will remain at 2.30am and a new late bar permit will be needed under the plans.

Venues remaining open late will have to apply to the courts for permits, and they will have to have CCTV along with fully accredited security staff.

Minister McEntee is expected to tell colleagues that Ireland will maintain a restrictive sale of alcohol licensing system overall.

Objections to licences will be allowed from fire services, local authorities, the HSE, local communities and the gardaí.

The new licensing laws are expected to come into effect next year.