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13.17 15 Nov 2020


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A Dublin pub says its property was left in a "disgraceful state" after large crowds were filmed drinking on South William Street last night.

Grogans Castle Lounge, which has been closed for the past eight months, says it is "furious" after rubbish was left around its premises.

Gardaí say they responded to reports of a large gathering of people on South William Street yesterday evening.

They asked the crowd to disperse and a number of patrols were conducted in the area over the course of the evening.

A spokesperson said no breaches of COVID-19 regulations were detected.

Daniel Smith, a barman at Grogans, believes pubs being open would be a safer environment for customers.

He said: "The street in general luckily had been cleaned by the Council by the time we got in.

"It was just behind the barriers which we had for our outdoor seating area, we filled two bags of rubbish and there were signs of urination on the side of the pub."

Mr Smith said they were "frustrated" that people were gathering to drink on the street while their pub has been closed for months.

He added: "We've been saying for months now that we feel pubs and restaurants should be allowed to open as they're controlled environments where you have staff there who have a duty of care for their customers.

"We feel they're a safe environment as opposed to these uncontrolled drinking sessions on the street.

"We've been advocating since early June for pubs and restaurants to be allowed to reopen regardless of whether they serve food or not.

"We feel these environments are far safer than the scenes we're seeing last night.

"This is something we're advocating very strongly and hope will come to fruition when NPHET make a decision on November 26th."

Mr Smith said they're hoping Grogans will be allowed reopen for Christmas.

He added: "There's not a publican in the country that's under any illusions that this Christmas is going to be a Christmas like we've had previously.

"No one wants to pack out their pubs and risk the health and safety of their customers and staff.

"People just want to be given a chance, given a chance to welcome their staff and customers in through the doors."

Reporting by Kerry Mitchell and Marita Moloney


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