There has been some discussion in recent times about potential adjustments to licensing arrangements and trading hours.
The LVA has strong views on these subjects and our position is outlined as follows.
Night-Time Cultural Activity
The LVA welcomes the current process underway to assess adding greater diversity to night-time cultural attractions in the nation’s capital. It will add to the vibrancy and appeal of Dublin.
However, if cultural attractions wish to sell alcohol to visitors, they must be required to obtain a 7-day license, obtain the necessary planning permission to operate as a pub and meet the same fire safety and insurance requirements necessary to sell alcohol for on premises consumption.
This is critical in ensuring public safety, a level playing field from a competition perspective and avoiding some cultural attractions becoming de-facto public houses by ‘the back door’. Previous experiences around the abuse of theatre licences show this is a real risk. At that time the need to deal with the theatre licence loophole was brought to the attention of the authorities by the LVA and we welcomed the subsequent closure of that loophole.
The LVA firmly believes there should be a common source of responsibility for the licensing regime, including for such cultural premises. Licensing across the board should come under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice and Equality. This will ensure consistency across the entire licensing framework.
If there is a review of trading hours, then the LVA believes the following adjustments should be made.
It is also the position of the LVA that there is a strong case for reviewing the process and costs of the Special Exemption Order system, potentially reducing bureaucracy and making more efficient use of time for both the Courts and An Garda Síochána.