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Club leaves 2am closing agreement

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18 May 2012 Last updated at 09:48 ET
Rain NightclubRain Nightclub is now staying open until 3am again

Police and Pubs of Ulster have said they are disappointed that Belfast's Rain nightclub has decided to leave a voluntary agreement to close earlier.

Under last month's agreement, clubs now close at 2am instead of an hour later.

It followed controversy over the death of Joby Murphy who drowned in January after taking part in a drinks promotion at a club in the Odyssey complex.

However, Rain - which is in Tomb Street - has now indicated that it will go back to the 3am closing time.

"The decision to go back to closing at 3am is of course very disappointing and we will be engaging with them to discuss the issue further," Colin Neill of Pubs of Ulster said.

"We would like to remind the industry that the agreement has the support and backing of the PSNI and therefore any decision by a licensee to remove themselves from it, will be brought to their attention.

"By demonstrating effective self-regulation and the industry's commitment to responsible practices, we hope to pave the way for modernising the current licensing laws in Northern Ireland.

"This will only happen however if the industry comes together on issues such as 2am closing."

The police also said they were disappointed by Rain's move.

"Rain did notify police of this decision yesterday, and we have asked them to reconsider," a spokesperson said.

"Police have advised Rain nightclub that we will continue to inspect their premises to ensure that they are not trading outside of licensing hours or breaching the licensing laws."

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