Revellers won’t be able to dance until 6 am this Christmas as Leo Varadkar has confirmed there will be no longer-opening laws for the festive period, reports The Mirror.
The Taoiseach poured cold water on hopes the laws would be in place before the end of 2023 despite comments from Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Tourism Minister Catherine Martin over the past few weeks that the new rules would come into effect this year.
Minister McEntee brought plans to extend opening hours to Cabinet last October.
At a summer briefing for political journalists last week, Mr Varadkar said the public should not expect legislation until next summer.
“I think it unlikely it will be the case for Christmas. That would mean getting the legislation published and enacted before Christmas. Even when it is enacted, there’s a whole licensing system that has to be gone through,” he said, reports The Mirror.
Proposed legislation unveiled by Justice Minister Helen McEntee last year suggested extending pub and nightclub hours.
While last orders at nightclubs will be at 5 am, revelers will be allowed to stay on the premises until 6 am.
Meanwhile, pubs will be allowed to stay open until 12:30 a.m. seven nights a week.
Asked earlier this month when the legislation would be enacted, Minister McEntee stressed it was important to get the legislation right.
“I fully appreciate people’s frustration with this. It is absolutely my intention that we’ll bring forward with legislation as quickly as possible so that no other venues are impacted, perhaps, by the fact that this legislation hasn’t been brought forward sooner. We’re working very, very closely with the OPC, the Office of Parliamentary Council, [and] my own department,” she said, reports The Mirror.
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