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Late-opening fees for bars and clubs waived

20 Oct 2021 / regulation Print

Late-opening fees for bars and clubs waived

The Government is to waive the fees paid by late bars and nightclubs in order to stay open after normal trading hours.

The waiver, which applies for the rest of this year, applies to the court fees, and associated excise duty, firms must pay to receive a Special Exemption Order (SEO).

The decision, announced by the Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys and the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe, comes as pubs and nightclubs prepare to return to pre-pandemic trading hours on Friday (22 October).


Nightclubs and late bars need an SEO from the District Court every time they want to trade past normal trading hours. SEOs allow establishments to open until 2.30am.

The court fee for each SEO is €300, and an excise duty of €110 per application is also payable to Revenue.

The Government says that the Courts Service will automatically refund fees paid for any applications that have already been submitted for dates from 22 October to 31 December.

Further changes

The Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys said that the Government recognised the value and importance of supporting licence-holders, and helping the night-time economy to get back on its feet.

In July, the Government waived court fees and excise duties for vintners for a second successive year. The minister pointed out that licensed premises would still have to make a court application for an SEO, and secure a court order.

The minister said that further changes in the SEO process would form part of the forthcoming Sale of Alcohol Bill, which is currently being drafted.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland