Belfast clubs voluntarily shut at 2am

Published Monday, 23 April 2012
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Up to 30 nightclubs in Belfast which can legally stay open to 3am have begun closing at 2am under a new voluntary agreement.

Belfast clubs voluntarily shut at 2am
Bars in Belfast stop serving alcohol at 1am. (© Getty)

The measure was introduced at the weekend and is part of attempts to tackle "irresponsible" drinks promotions in the city.

The voluntary closure was agreed at a meeting following the death of Belfast man Joby Murphy, who fell into the Lagan in January after spending the evening at the Beach club in the Odyssey.

Colin Neill, the chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, described the measure as "another way that the industry aims to demonstrate its commitment to responsible practices by doing all in its power to address the issues at hand.

"The voluntary agreement is also a vital step in showing our ability to self-regulate."

He added that, while they continue to work on improving the industry from within, "we can only do so much within the confines of the current licensing laws in Northern Ireland".

Mr Neill said current laws need to be "modernised" to look at late night openings and address opening times at Easter.

He said Northern Ireland needs to prove its industry "can act responsibly within the current licensing laws".

He said the organisation will continue to work with its members to address any issues, while working with the Minister for Social Development Nelson McCausland and Environment Minister Alex Attwood "to develop a responsible way forward on licensing laws".

© UTV News
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23 Comments
Declan Moran in Belfast wrote (940 days ago):
Alex Attwood the clown who has now made all pub's and club's in Belfast close at 2am should take a good look at himself and go into exile... How can you let a City that was moving in the right direction being voted one of the best weekends away, MTV holding the Euopean Music awards we were on the right path... So how can we let this young, vibrant city be governed by a bunch of men behind the times who just don’t understand that what we need in this time of change is a new approach.. We know a young man Joby lost his life which is a huge tragedy that should never happened but you can't blame that solely on £1 drinks and 3 O’clock opening hours. Any City you go to within the UK and Ireland has cheaper drink and longer opening hours e.g. I went to University in Preston England where on some nights it was 75p for a vodka and white lemonade, a pint or an Alco-pop. If you want to combat cheap drink being sold then have a minimum price on alcohol but to prevent the City’s inhabitants and visitors from being ripped off, introduce a maximum price per unit which should alleviate some apprehension from the public who this as a way of taking more money from our already shrinking pile due to the price of things within Belfast. Also this 2 O’clock closing time will not help tackle the drinking culture this is due to the fact that people will just start to consume alcohol sooner which means they will be at the same level at the new time of 2 O'clock as if people want to get that drunk then it's going to happen whether you close places earlier or not. Another issue that I fell is completely missed out is now that all pub's and club's close they're doors at 2 O’clock this increases the risk of drunken confrontations happening where the staggered closing times before helped as people left at different times therefore less chance of confrontation. This City is run by a bunch of idiot's don't get me started on Poot's who instead of investing in saving our older buildings has instead pushed for them to be demolished and new shiny buildings out in their place which just takes away the character and identity of a city!
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (943 days ago):
Perhaps you should find somewhere else to socialise, Tom, if it is not to your taste. If there were no problems with people abusing alcohol, pubs and clubs would not have a need for bouncers. Strangely enough I think you will find bouncers at most venues across the world for that specific purpose. Twisting facts and figures? Statistics are there for a specific reason, to illustrate a point of view, for example. I'm sure you can appreciate that when confronted with an opposing view. Oh, wait a minute. Are you not just behaving like a Victor Meldrew? There are plenty of that type in every town, city and country in the world. They exist on self-loathing and pessimism for the world around them.
Tomc in Belfast wrote (944 days ago):
Ulysses32 you're debate is ridiculous. You mention figures and facts then attempt to twist that when challenged on your comments. When you have nothing else, you attack individuals based on assumptions of their private life and circumstance, yet know nothing about such things. You continue to challenge what people write without understanding the debate and points made Although you do make me smile lad, it's not often someone with such a misguided and weak point of arguement is relatively eloquent. However you answer one of my main points when you mention Belfast having it's own unique character - that's just it - Belfast's uniqueness leaves a bitter taste. You're funny.
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (945 days ago):
Yeah, Iain, you go on making your assumptions. It's a wonder you mention a social life with having to "run the gauntlet with the drunken idiots" in "shutter city." It kind of reflects your own view of "respecting others or their property." Thankfully I don't have such a horrendous social life as yourself, although, my social life does revolve around such areas as mentioned without the "Mad Max" antics in the post-apocalyptic world both you and Tomc have the misfortune to live in.
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (945 days ago):
I get the point where reality and BS are difficult to ascertain when I read your comments as, factually, you have provided nothing to confirm any of your assumptions that are specific to Belfast. At least when Victor Meldrew went on a rant there was an element of humour to it, unlike yourself. As for comparing Belfast with Barcelona, why would you do that? I'm quite happy with Belfast having it's own character as opposed to a non-descript euro-city like the way Dublin has gradually become. I'm surprised you have any employees working for you at all with your contempt for everything and nothing, at least those employees who choose to turn up rather than having a duvet day anyway.
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