Rules governing how long nightclubs and bars can stay open are going to be reviewed by the Government. 

The development follows calls from venues and music industry figures to modernise the current regime. 

Under current rules bars and nightclubs must close their doors at 2.30am, but politicians were told today that those rules were outdated. 

At an Oireachtas committee senior Department of Justice officials said that the Government intends to have a consultation process to review existing licencing laws. 

Speaking to the Oireachtas Committee on Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Assistant Secretary and Head of Civil Legislation at the Department of Justice, Martina Colville, said she could not say when exactly the review would happen but she said Minister Charlie Flanagan was open to consultation. 

DJ Sunil Sharpe, a spokesperson for Give us the Night Campaign, said Ireland was operating on legislation that does not meet modern requirements.

Under the Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 nightclubs and late bars must close their doors at 2.30am from Monday to Saturday and at 1am on Sunday.

The Act aims to restricts the "availability and visibility" of alcohol and to provide "for more effective enforcement" to deal with the consequences of alcohol abuse.

Mr Sharpe told the Committee the costs are very high for any venue that wants to open beyond normal pub hours. 

He said it was €410 per night plus legal fees for any venue to open later and he said many venues were being priced out of the market. 

He said Ireland which is famed for its dancing culture is now being prevented from "dancing after dark". 

Mr Sharpe said opening urban centres later would move Ireland in line with other European countries. 

He said people were being ejected out of the cities at "artificially" early times posing excessive pressure on the public transport system and the gardaí. 

He called for a reintroduction of the theatre license for late night cultural or music events. 

Central Arts director Ciara O'Connell said the night-time culture in Ireland was not doing well and she said it was increasingly difficult to do business.

She said they did not want to sell alcohol on their premises but were being forced to become a licensed venue in order to continue. 

She said the insurance industry and claims culture is having a huge affect on nightlife with premiums that are pushing independent venues and festivals out of business.

Ray Yeats, Arts Officer with Dublin City Councillor, told the committee that they wanted to encourage culture and the arts in the city but he said they have to be guided by their statutory responsibilities.

Mr Yeats said little is known about the barriers to enjoying a night out in the city, asking is it cost, lack of choice or early closing hours?

He said audiences at cultural events had few options after 11pm - which provides opportunities to the arts community to extend their activities.

He also said the arts office would work with the groups that attended today's committee.