Galway’s only remaining nightclub is open, despite demolition of the building being approved.
Skeffington Arms Ltd., which operates the Skeffington Arms Hotel and Bar and the DNA nightclub, has been granted permission by An Bord Pleanála to demolish the nightclub building in order to build an extension to their Eyre Square location, which would contain 44 new hotel bedrooms.
The decision was appealed after being initially refused permission by city planners.
However, there are no plans yet to close the nightclub. DNA will continue operating as normal for the foreseeable future.
Night-life across the county has been badly affected by the pandemic already. Two nightclubs, that operated as sister venues while open in Galway city centre, Halo and Electric, have already been closed as a result of the pandemic.
Prior to the pandemic, Carbon nightclub was also closed after it was purchased by JD Wetherspoon with the intention of it being reopened as the latest Wetherspoon pub in Ireland.
It comes as Galway City Council have decided to look at improving the city’s nightlife sector in its draft city development plan.
This plan sets out objectives spread across the next six years for the night time economy and cultural sector, with involvement from the public and relevant stakeholders.
Sunil Sharpe from Give Us The Night, a volunteer organisation set up to emphasise night-life’s importance in the economy, the community and in culture, is worried that nightclubs often get rejected by local government,
“City councils are not prioritising nightlife as part of their cultural offering,” he said.
“We need to ensure that development plans recognise this and that they put greater protection measures in place,”
The pandemic has also brought about a change in the nightlife demographic as the age range of those interested in nightclub and late night venues has increased.
“There’s one group of younger people, who would now be around 20 who missed out on going out completely back in 2020.” Mr Sharpe said.
The nightlife industry was one of the most heavily impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic, with venues being forced to close for over 600 days.
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