Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD has hit out over the fact that pubs will not be reopening fully this side of Christmas.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“The government keep talking about decisive action, and clarity, yet we’re seeing nothing of the sort from these press briefings. This uncertainty and constant chopping and changing, starting and stopping, opening and closing, will not only kill businesses, but it will also ensure that they are well buried beneath a mass of debt. Take pubs for example – different story today than yesterday, courtesy of a cabinet leak – pubs will not be fully reopened this side of Christmas, because when level five is over we will be back to level three. Confusion, conflicting messages, secrecy and leaks are the order of the day”.

“Opening and shutting a pub has a huge knock-on effect, I’ve had people contact me about quantities and stores of beer going out of date, publicans telling of how they had to go out into the yard and spill all their beer down the drain when the lockdown was first announced, then purchase more for the planned reopening, spill it out when the reopening was cancelled, and engage in this vicious circle in the months since. These restrictions, coupled with the confusion, is breaking businesses, and it is breaking people mentally and financially. It is simply not fair”.

It must also be remember that the rural pub plays a pivotal role in the community. There will be thousands of people living alone in rural communities who will simply not see another person from dawn till dusk. This will have a severe impact on their lives and their ability to cope with a lockdown in the darkness of winter. I am calling on the government to offer some light to these people and in the case where a county has lowered significantly its rate of Covid that an opportunity for the function of pubs in a safe socially distanced manner will arise, concluded Deputy Tóibín.