THE loss of entertainment and cultural venues in Limerick over the past 30 years, has prompted a local Senator to call for a radical revamp of the city’s night-time economy.
Urging the government to support his party’s proposals to improve the night-time economy, Sinn Féin Senator Paul Gavan called for a package of measures “to save and improve nightlife which is under immense pressure across the State.”
“In Limerick we have been losing cultural spaces and venues at an alarming rate. 30 years ago we had a city centre cinema, numerous nightclubs and even a number of late night cafés. All of that has been wiped out in the intervening years.”
“Night-life forms an important part of culture and economy. Despite this, the government has failed to act and has ignored the calls of the sector for much-needed support.”
“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. We have seen here in Limerick many venues shut their doors for the last time, as these pressures have proven insurmountable.
“Successive Governments have failed to sufficiently update legislation. Current legislation is out of date and unfit for the year 2022.”
“We urgently need to see reform of licensing laws, trading hours and an end to early closing on Sundays. We also need an approach that focuses much more broadly than just on alcohol. We need to see much greater use of theatres, galleries and museums as alternative venues for night time entertainment, including alcohol free venues.”
“Public transport and taxi services are also essential components of the night time economy. We need night bus routes in line with other modern cities across Europe, fairer regulations for taxis and harm reduction campaigns to ensure communities remain safe.”
“Finally we must ensure that the workers in this sector are respected and paid properly, especially with regard to night time premiums, tips and break times.”
“The solutions are there if the political will is there,” Senator Gavan concluded.