Sunday, July 13, 2008

Give us the Night, not the Nanny State

The Intoxicating Liquor Bill thaT got passed in the Dail last week was passed despite but major protestations from many areas, imcluding the governments own party, Fianna Fail. By passing the Bill, without a proper debate, the government
further curtailed our freedom to choose when and where we can
enjoy ourselves in this supposedly free society.
I’m not gonna discuss the Bill in
detail here but calls by Dermot Aherne to further reduce opening
hours on Sunday evenings are particularly draconian, seeing as many
people in Ireland do not work specifically between Monday and
Friday 9-5pm. These very people are being unfairly targeted and
blamed for loss of productivity in a rashly thought out and rushed
bill. Many people in Ireland work in the catering and service
industry and are working all weekend, it is simply unfair that they
can’t enjoy their Sunday nights out because of these
ill-thought out new laws, which are aimed at reducing the trouble
in the streets but which on closer inspection will add to these
By now, practically every taxi driver,
bar worker, DJ, garda or even nightclub goer will tell you that the
unrest on the streets is often caused by the simultaneous closing
of pubs, late bars and nightclubs. Give us the Night are an
independent volunteer group of professionals within the music
industry, campaigning to bring about a change to the licensing laws
in Ireland, with particular regard to nightclubs. They have been
very important in raising awareness on this issue and argue that
“the economy can benefit from increased demand for employment
in the entertainment sector and in ancillary services industries,
eg food and transport services”.
As for public order, they feel the “Government is
hindering the potential for a safer and more vibrant nightlife in
Ireland, which would be in line with the nightlife in other major
European cities”. It’s amazing that so many people in
Ireland are unaware of what is happening behind the scenes. As a
DJ, who would gladly play till 5am every Saturday night, I’ve
always been frustrated when trying to explain to people at 2am why
we have to stop playing music. In Cork, it’s sometimes even
worse than the rest of the country, but in Ireland we have the
earliest closing times of all nightclubs in Europe. Is it just a
coincidence that we have more public disorder too?
Give Us the Night propose that
nightclubs enjoy better partnerships with gardai, local authorities
and other relevant groups to allow them to “tackle the
problem of public alcohol-related offences”. Some politicians
see the light and are now arguing for staggered closing times.
It’s important to let it be known that this is not simply a
young persons problem, many responsible people who are older than
30 or 40 are having their personal freedom curtailed too. Many
genuine adults of all ages are being targeted by this law, when the
reality suggests that being in a nightclub with trained security is
as safe as place as any on a Saturday night. Check out more details
on and join the debate!

This column originally appeared in last weeks Evening Echo

Give Us The Night Web Banner

Here are some photos courtesy of Give Us the Night, of the recent protest outside the Dail




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    I'm a DJ from Cork in Ireland. I work with RedFM, presenting Red Drive, The Hitlist and my specialist show, Black on Red. I'm probably best known for being one of the main hip-hop/soul DJ's in Cork and Ireland. I've been DJing in Cork since the early 90's in legendary clubnights such as Sweat in Sir Henrys, Mor Disco, Free La Funk, Yo Latino and also Jam and Jam Junior at the Savoy and the Pavilion. I've also held down long term residencies at clubs around Ireland such as Brown Sugar at the Kitchen in Dublin, U-Turn at Ri Ra in Dublin, Jazz Juice at the GPO in Galway, Thompson Garage in Belfast, the Soul Clinic, Dee-Bop, Meltdown and Mo Bounce in Limerick and i've played abroad in the United States and the U.K. on numerous occasions. I also write a music column for the Evening Echo and i'm a regular contributor to the U.K.'s Blues and Soul, the longest running black music magazine in the world. These days i run the Pavilion, a music venue in Cork, which hosts my Jam night every few Fridays also you can catch me at