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Cork nightclub manager says only Dublin venues will get the most out of 6am opening times

"I can see it in Dublin for the likes of Temple Bar or on Camden Street, up on the Quays there… but I’m not sure the culture is there in Cork.”

Damien Storan/PA Wire© PA

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Only Dublin club goers will get the most out of the new 6am closing time for nightclubs, a Cork venue manager has said.

John Styles of Rearden’s believes the new hours are “positive” but a lot more needs to happen before clubs across the country can take them on.

Under new licensing laws announced his week, the final call for pubs has been extended to 12.30am while nightclubs can serve their last drinks at 5am.

However the manager says he “can’t see it happening” outside of Dublin.

"I can see it in Dublin for the likes of Temple Bar or on Camden Street, up on the Quays there… but I’m not sure the culture is there in Cork,” he told sundayworld.com.

"A lot of our staff are students, and I’m conscious that people have lives to live outside of working, especially if they’re finishing up at 6am.”

The Rearden’s manager said transportation poses more problems, as already “taxi drivers start jumping ship at 1am or 2am” to avoid troublemakers.

He said at least the new licenses will allow venues to choose when they want to close, and they’ll “follow the customer’s lead on what comes next.”

Emma Murphy, a Dublin-based electronic DJ, says the change is “exactly what people in the industry have been campaigning for.”

As both a club-goer and DJ, Emma, whose name for sets is Rhyzine, is excited to see Ireland’s closing times come into the 21st century and in line with the rest of Europe.

The later hours will give clubs a chance to recover after a tough few years for the industry.

Young people head to Berlin and Amsterdam for the nightlife, Emma says. “there’s no reason why Dublin can’t be the same.”

Like John Styles of Rearden’s, she says giving people choice is the most important thing.

"People who want to party will still party. Even now, they go to houses until 6am anyway. They’re not going home to bed,” she said.

It comes as it emerged that clubs and pubs can be refused a licence if they aren’t seen clamping down on sexual harassment.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said:

“If a premises has shown not to support and protect either staff, patrons, performers or anybody on the premises from harassment, including sexual harassment, that’s now grounds for objection.”

Safe Gigs Ireland – an organisation working to stamp out harassment and behaviour like spiking in gigs and clubs across the country – “really welcomes” the new rule.

“I think there’s too much being made about opening hours and not enough made about safety,” says Mary Crilly of Safe Gigs Ireland and the Director of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork.

"People have been asking me whether the 6am closing time will make getting home more dangerous… sure what’s the difference when they’re coming home now? At least then it might be bright!

"Now, people will know that venues need to keep an eye on them and look out for them or risk being refused their license.

"It’s a win-win for everyone,” Mary added.

"We really welcome the change. It’s finally being acknowledged that sexual harassment happens in clubs and pubs.”

Mary said the new move is not the final step yet: “We need to change the culture on sexual harassment.”

"We need to stop waiting until it’s ‘serious.’ Some venues have been turning a blind eye to behaviour we shouldn’t be tolerating.”

Gardaí have already expressed their concern about the new laws, revealing they were never consulted about a move to 6am closing times.

Antoinette Cunningham, the general secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that at that hour, Gardaí are already dealing with a lot of social issues, Ms Cunningham said.

She asked: "If our members are dealing with these issues, where are they going to find the time to deal with policing nightclubs?”


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