Martin warns full re-opening of pubs 'could be delayed'

The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned the full re-opening of pubs could be delayed. He was hit...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.33 6 Jul 2020

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Martin warns full re-opening o...

Martin warns full re-opening of pubs 'could be delayed'

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

14.33 6 Jul 2020

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The Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned the full re-opening of pubs could be delayed.

He was hitting out at the scenes over the weekend, where hundreds of people gathered to drink in some locations.

Pubs are due to fully re-open on July 20th.


But speaking to Red FM, he said that may not now go ahead.

"We will have a report from the Gardaí at today's Cabinet meeting.

"On Friday we had asked the Gardaí to commence an operation - Operation Navigation happened from about 7pm and about 5,500 inspections of licenced premises took place.

"Now it has to be said that in general, the majority of licencees were compliant, but there were breaches of the regulations - and that is a big worry".

“As you know, the full opening was to take place on July 20th and people do need to behave,” he said.

“It could be delayed, yes, and we will get advice from the public health officials [on that].

“We are worried about it and some of the scenes that were witnessed are just very worrying, because social distancing was not being complied with at all during a number of the inspections.

"And the opening hours weren't being adhered to, either".

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris told LMFM the Gardaí have dealt with such incidences.

"We conducted 6,000 visits, licenced premises checks, throughout the country.

"The vast majority were compliant, but we did find breaches of the regulations - but we also found breaches of the licencing laws as well in a minority of cases.

"We also found a situation which was highlighted on social media in Dame Lane, where indeed that was in effect a public order situation and was dealt with as such".

"Our experience is not dissimilar in terms of what the behaviours that were seen and being shown on social media.

"Licencees have worked hard and it's been their responsibility to manage their premises and we've licencees working very hard to responsibly manage their premises.

"[In] a small number of cases, we've also seen difficulties - and we've acted then to enforce either the regulations or other legislation.

"And I think that's just going to be the manner of this going forward."

Asked if Gardaí have the power to shut premises, he said: "We have a range of power, and we've the powers in terms of encouraging people to asking their compliance with the regulations - and many licencees have moved to clear premises at our request.

"Bear in mind we also have the licencing laws and also our public order laws as well - we are not without powers if we need to act".

And Justice Minister Helen McEntee said:"This is something that we need to continuously review.

"I think to date the vast majority of citizens, business - whether it's pubs or restaurants as well - even over the weekend have complied with regulations".

"Of course we've seen maybe some scenes over the weekend that were disappointing, and I would ask and I would urge everybody to comply with the public health health regulation.

"We have come so far, we have made such great progress - and while we have been able to implement measures and bring them forward, what we don't want is to have to re-implement any of these measures that we have now relaxed over the last while.

"But certainly it's an issue that will be kept under review".

Main image: Michael Martin arriving at the Convention Centre Dublin for a COVID-19 Dáil sitting. Picture by: Sam Boal/

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Covid-19 Drew Harris Dublin Helen McEntee Micheál Martin Pubs Re-opening Pubs Regulations Social Distancing

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