Under new reforms being considered by the Department of Justice, nightclubs will be able to stay open past 2.30AM and pub opening hours on Sunday will be extended.

A report in today's Sunday Times says that the reforms and changes to the alcohol licensing laws in Ireland will provide a boost for the hospitality sector, which has been on its knees since the pandemic began.

As well as extending opening hours, the proposed reforms would also make it easier for cultural venues such as art galleries, theatres, and exhibition centres to receive a licence to serve alcohol for events.

As it stands, the hospitality sector is likely to remain closed in Ireland until well into the summer as the vaccination schedule in Ireland is currently 18th in European rankings, with the UK leading with 26.3 out of 100 people vaccinated.

Extended nightclub opening hours have long been pushed for by the events industry in Ireland, with campaigns such as Give Us The Night calling for the establishment of a night-time mayor in all cities in Ireland to help with night-time economy, and the abolition of special exemption orders.

According to a study by Give Us The Night of the current laws, a late-night venue that stays open 6 days a week pays around €128,000 per year plus legal fees for each monthly court application on special exemption orders, while the same fees in the UK cost approximately £2,000.