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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Licence decisions are often left late

Brian Byrne

Published 04/07/2014 | 02:30

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Dublin City manager Owen Keegan
Dublin City manager Owen Keegan

IT'S not unusual to see the words 'subject to licence' printed ominously on the bottom of your concert ticket.

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Current legislation does nothing to stop event promoters from selling tickets to a major event, without first getting the necessary green light from local authorities.

But they have little choice under the Planning Development Act 2000-2004, which allows authorities to wait until mere days before an event to grant permission. Events requiring such applications are those classified as public performances, which take place mainly in the open air, and comprise music or similar entertainment.

Under the act, promoters have until 10 weeks before an event to submit their application. A further five weeks are set aside for public consultation, before planners give their initial decision up to three weeks before the act takes to the stage.

The final decision, however, is often signed off on just two or three days before the show.

In the case of Croke Park, the decision is down to Dublin City Council's planning department, specifically the event license section, which is responsible for granting or rejecting such an application.

This decision is typically overseen by three people, including administrative officer John Downey, executive manager Jim Keoghan and city manager Owen Keegan (inset).

Unsurprisingly, current legislation has been criticised for not only allowing promoters to sell tickets without a licence, but the extremely late notice at which planners can announce their decision on whether to grant one.

Irish Independent

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