Header Ads

Breaking News

Government admits pubs may have to shut again if Covid cases rise despite giving green light to reopen


Pubs have been given the green light to reopen on September 21 but the Government has warned if Covid cases worsen they may be forced to stay shut.

And Dublin and Limerick publicans may face further trouble as a spike in Covid-19 cases in both counties could keep them closed.

Tipperary publican TJ McInerney, who shed tears outside the Dail yesterday, said he was “not surprised” about that message but that pubs are taking the date as “a given”.

The father of two met with Taoiseach Micheal Martin last night and told the Irish Mirror he believed Mr Martin understands publican’s struggles.

He said: “I personally got the feeling that he is with us and understands there’s a mental health issue and a need for pubs to reopen.



“I know if you drive from one end of the country to the other on rural routes all lights are off and I explained to him the importance of those lights being on.

“This is about every publican and community in Ireland.”

The Tipperary man was speaking outside the Dail as a protest by publicans over the closures was taking place.

Mr McInerney, owner of TJ Macs pub in Mullinahone, broke down and said the pandemic has had a detrimental impact on his livelihood but also on his personal life.

He has dipped into his children’s college funds to “keep a roof” over his family’s head.

Mr McInerney said: “I was talking to a customer the other day, he’s a pensioner, and he said ‘TJ, I’m alive but I’m not living.

“‘What difference does it make whether they throw the sod over me today or tomorrow?

“‘Unless I’m living, it’s an existence’.”



Publican TJ McInerney of TJ Macs pub at Leinster House

Mr McInerney told how his wife has struggled to speak to her father as he’s living in the UK and wheelchair-bound.

He said: “We’ve all made huge sacrifices. He can barely speak into the phone to her. We’re hurting badly.

“We want to make tax returns and get the country back going.”

A Government spokeswoman admitted the reopening of pubs will still depend on NPHET advice and adapting to the virus between now and September 21.

She said the plan is to reopen premises on that date but there will be further consultation tomorrow with the Cabinet sub-committee.

She added: “It’s subject to the epidemiological situation but at this point in time Cabinet has decided September 21 is the date of reopening.



25/08/2020 The Auld Dubliner & Olver St john Gogarty pubs which are closed during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Dublin’s city Centre.

“If there is a change in the date of reopening between now and then, it won’t just affect pubs, it will affect all businesses but obviously we’re going to be monitoring that.

“That’s the plan but the Cabinet’s sub-committee will meet on Thursday after the NPHET meeting and they will consider any advice that’s put to them from that.”

Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said NPHET has advised that it is appropriate to allow wet pubs to reopen on September 21 but with “strict restrictions” in place.

Draft guidelines from Failte Ireland issued to vintner groups last week
are to be tweaked but will be very similar to those already issued to pubs serving food.

But the reopening of bars will be subject to local restrictions that may arise. Time slots of 105 minutes would not be a requirement where physical distancing of two metres can be “strictly maintained”.

Mr Harris said we’re at a “delicate” moment in the country as we are experiencing “a significant spike” in counties Dublin and Limerick. He revealed the Government had received a warning about rising cases in Dublin and Limerick.

The former Health Minister said: “Just to be clear, the NPHET has advised this is appropriate. That pubs can reopen from September 21.

“None of this trumps any advice NPHET has to give in any parts of the country now or into the future.”

Mr Harris warned publicans that on reopening anybody “acting the maggot” in relation to “our health and well-being” will be “dealt with with the full vigour of the law”.

The body that represents Dublin publicans told the Irish Mirror they expect the capital’s pubs to reopen
on September 21.

Licensed Vintners Association chief Donal O’Keefe said: “We’ve a lot of expectation that Cabinet will stick to the decision this time.

“This is the fourth potential reopening date for pubs. There is no doubt we are bitterly disappointed about how we’ve been treated.”

And the body which represents rural pubs said the strict measures will be “tough” but there is “a sliver of light.”

Padraig Cribben of the Vintners Federation of Ireland said: “We have been marched up this hill several times before. However, this will come as a real relief to the 3,500 pubs across Ireland who are still closed as well as their staff and all the families concerned.

“The support package put forward by the Government was derisory and this financial reality facing the pubs who are still closed needs to be recognised in a meaningful way.”



Source link

No comments