Indoor dining protesters targeting restaurants with fake bookings - JP McMahon


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

08.13 23 Jul 2021


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Galway chef JP McMahon has warned that people who disagree with the new indoor dining rules are making fake bookings at restaurants planning to reopen on Monday.

The Michelin Star chef is now asking for credit card details for all bookings across his three restaurants.

Mr McMahon has been a vocal critic of the new vaccine pass rules – calling for customers to be permitted indoors if they sit a negative antigen test.

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On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, he said it is “unfortunate” that people are targeting restaurants and pubs for following the law.

“We have just been receiving a lot of emails and twitter messages saying that this is what they are going to do,” he said. “That they disagree with the new regulations and that we shouldn’t be partaking in them.

“So, I suppose it is a preventative measure and I was just concerned for everyone in the industry so I suppose I just wanted to make it known.”

He said his colleagues in the industry have also been receiving suspicious emails.

“These individuals are being encouraged by other individuals with many, many followers and I think it is unfortunate that these people feel they need to take it out on the restaurants,” he said.

“I mean, whether or not we agree with the situation, it is the law and as with many other laws in the restaurant, we just have to partake in it.”

He said the credit card system was already in place at his Aniar restaurant and for large bookings at Cava; however, he has now been forced to implement for all bookings at all three of his restaurants.

“I just felt it necessary because we just can’t afford to take a chance,” he said.

“People are emailing us or seeing online that they are encouraging people to block book restaurants and then not turn up.

“I just don’t think it is a chance we can take considering we are only going to have August now for the summer season for this year.”

It comes as the final meetings take place at Government level before the publication of the indoor dining guidelines.

The Attorney General is meeting with Fáilte Ireland and Government officials before they are published later today.


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