Government Dragged into Pub Change
Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has welcomed the government finally getting to the right answer on reopening pubs and beginning to end their singling out of Wet Pubs. He stated;
“After relentless pressure from publicans, the Licensed Vintners’ Association and the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, plus ourselves in Aontú, the government has finally gotten to the right answer on reopening the pubs. Pubs across the country have been put to the sword, with many pubs who have been lynchpins of their communities closing their doors for the final time. The financial distress placed on pub owners has been unbearable. One publican I spoke to last week was on the brink of tears, for fear that his pub would have to close for good”.
“The community effect that closed pubs has is also significant. We are going into the dark winter months where many people in rural areas will not speak to another human being all day long if we do not open up social opportunities in their communities”.
“We need to be cautious and careful when it comes to Covid. We don’t know what the winter will bring. Pubs should follow the best guidance on Social Distancing. But the pubs that have opened have not been found wanting in playing their part in the fight against Covid, with many having spent thousands to put in screens, clean their premises and purchase PPE for staff – all to make their premises safer”.
“Pubs are an outlier in the economy with regards sectors reopening in Ireland and Ireland is an outlier in Europe with regards reopening pubs. Many counties have had very low level of Covid and yet the wet pubs are closed there, while other counties have had very high levels of Covid yet their food pubs are open there. Its illogical. Food is not a protection against Covid”.
“The truth of the matter is have to learn to live with this illness. I have questioned the government over and over again on why it is not investigating the costs on health, physical and mental, to the Covid restrictions in the health service and society. They refuse to analyse this cost. Without this knowledge its impossible to have balance in our response”.
“The pubs reopening is of course welcome news, but the government was caught in the headlights, was unable to make a decision and it took far too much pressure on this government for them to realise the damage being done by the shutdown of our pubs. Now that pubs are about to reopen, the government can do far more on easing the burden on pubs like getting rid of the requirement to keep records of customer purchases for 28 days. The government must ensure that pubs have the support they need. Our biggest fear that the government will change its mind again”.