Kerry chef Paul Treyvaud has said the Government has lost the people of Ireland – with widespread support for his plan to open his restaurant this summer “no matter what.”
In a tweet that reached millions of people this week, Mr Treyvaud said he was opening his Killarney restaurant on July 1st, regardless of what coronavirus restrictions may be in place.
He said he is convinced his business will not survive if it is not open for the summer, adding: "I’ve no intention of losing everything I’ve worked my life for because these idiots can’t close airports, ports or agree on borders."
“I am saying, ‘listen, we can’t keep going with the incompetency of a Government whose communication is appalling,’” he said.
“The people of Ireland; the Government has lost them and enough is enough.”
I have decided I am opening my restaurant July 1st no matter what. That gives them 4 months to sort out everything. I’ve done everything I’ve been told to do. 55k came in from uk with that variant, now over 1500 from Brazil.
The problem is no longer us. It’s an incompetent Gov
— Paul Treyvaud (@PaulTreyvaud) February 22, 2021
Mr Treyvaud said the response to his tweet shows that he is more in touch with the mood of the Irish people than the Government.
“The frightening thing is that I have read the room,” he said.
“I understand the mentality of the people in Ireland more than an entire political system. That is what is frightening.”
"End of our tethers"
The restaurateur said he supports the Dublin salon owner who opened her doors to customers this week – and said he is prepared to go to prison if needs be.
“Listen, I put that up on my tweet; I clearly hope it doesn’t go as far as that,” he said. “I mean, nobody wants to be breaking the law.
“I very much appreciate the lady in the salon who took her stance and look, when somebody goes off on a mad rant, I fully appreciate anybody at the moment - because we are at the end of our tethers.
“The Taoiseach came out and made a speech to the nation the other day and there wasn’t a single date to give anybody an ounce of hope – and whatever hope he did give to people was taken away by saying, 'listen, by the way there could be a new variant here tomorrow and we would lose everything.'”
He said he is not an anti-vaxxer or a COVID-denier; however, he said the Government must now do everything possible to get the country open in time for summer.
“I am saying, look, everyone to their own but I don’t believe we can open up now,” he said. “I think the community transmission is still way too high; I don’t think it is safe to open up businesses now.
“However, I am giving you four months to get your act in gear here because, particularly in rural Ireland, if we are not open for the 1st of July and if we don’t get to trade for July and August, it doesn’t matter if they let us open in October, November, December - there is going to be nobody in Kerry.
“There is going to be no Irish tourism happening at all then and we are going to lose anywhere from 60% to 80% of our businesses.”
"Up to the Government"
He said it is now up to the Government to do what needs to be done to ensure the country is open in time for summer.
What I have done is I have put it up to the Government and said listen it is now your turn to turn around, take this on board and do what you need to do – because we have done everything.
“Obviously if the variants ago off, we have no idea which way this virus is going to go; however, there is a lot more we can do – particularly our Government can do,” he said.
“It is now up to the Government. There is no point in us doing everything we are being told to do when airports and ports are left open.”
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