Dublin City Councillors have welcomed the announcement that a new Night-time Economy Taskforce will be established to promote and develop a vibrant and sustainable night-time culture and economy. The Taskforce, which the Programme for Government committed to establishing within 30 days, was announced today by Minister Catherine Martin TD. It will be led by the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, and bring a range of Departments, Agencies and groups together to work on the issue.
Cllr Claire Byrne has worked on the issue of the night-time economy with Dublin City Council for many years and describes the Taskforce as a key Green Party objective. “It’s so great to see the Night-time Economy Taskforce launched within 30 days of Government, which was one of the key Green Party asks in the Programme for Government arts and culture section, Cllr Byrne explained. “I am also delighted to have worked with Minister Catherine Martin to ensure that Give Us The Night would be core members of the task force, as they have been campaigning on this issue for years. Other important stakeholders will be able to participate in the sub committees of the taskforce so we can work towards developing a night-time economy that has something for everyone. This will also help to deliver a Night Mayor for Dublin, something I have been pushing for since first elected in 2014 and is a core objective of The Dublin Agreement, and also for Cork.”
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Hazel Chu also welcomed the announcement and looks forward to joining the Taskforce in the coming weeks: “Now more than ever our culture, music, artist and trade all need the support of the public and the government so I am delighted to see the launch of this task force. From having worked on the issue with my party colleague and various groups over the past year we all are aware of the importance of this step. I look forward to making sure that we build a night-time economy that would support the livelihoods of various sectors while bringing much needed culture and creativity to the people of Ireland”
Included in the Taskforce alongside the Lord Mayor of Dublin will be the Lord Mayor of Cork, Give Us The Night, the Arts Council, the Chair of Council of National Cultural Institutions, the Chair of Local Authority Arts Officers, the Chair of the CCMA, the National Transport Authority, An Garda Síochána, Fáilte Ireland and multiple Government Departments.
Minister Martin expressed delight at the establishment of the Taskforce and stressed the importance of the collaboration between taskforce members: “I want creative thinking and innovative solutions to the challenges facing the night-time economy and I want every opportunity explored and maximised. I am particularly pleased that Sunil Sharpe of Give us the Night has agreed to participate in the Taskforce, as well as the Lord Mayors of Dublin and Cork cities, who have already overseen much work in this area. It is anticipated that Give us the Night and the two Local Authorities will give a presentation on their vision, and their work to date at the first meeting of the Taskforce.”
While the Green Party has pushed for an examination of the night-time economy over the last few years, Minister Martin explained that the Covid-19 crisis has made the Taskforce a priority for this Government. “Covid-19 has severely restricted social gatherings and has been detrimental to the night-time economy and culture of our cities, towns and villages,” She said. “However, as the economy opens up in the coming months (dependent on the current health advice), the industry needs to be ready to bounce back and to have as few obstacles as possible to develop and grow. This Taskforce will be well placed to look at all the challenges facing the development of a vibrant night-time culture and economy such as regulations, licencing laws, transport, and diversity of cultural activities among other issues.”
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