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Pubs and clubs in Temple Bar in Dublin to close until further notice

All pubs and nightclubs in the Temple Bar district of Dublin will temporarily close "with immedia...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.09 15 Mar 2020


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Pubs and clubs in Temple Bar i...

Pubs and clubs in Temple Bar in Dublin to close until further notice

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.09 15 Mar 2020


Share this article


All pubs and nightclubs in the Temple Bar district of Dublin will temporarily close "with immediate effect" and until further notice.

It comes amid increasing concern over social distancing amid the coronavirus outbreak.

While an increasing number of venues have closed voluntarily, political leaders and health officials have expressed their concerns over reports that people continue to gather in large numbers in some bars.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he will consider seeking enforcement powers from the Oireachtas if more pubs don't start complying with the health advice to avoid indoor gatherings of over 100 people.

In a statement this afternoon, the Temple Bar Company - which represents many of the venues in the popular Dublin city centre area -  said: "In the interest of public health and following advice from An Garda Siochana and the health authorities The Temple Bar Company and its members have today decided that all pubs and nightclubs in Temple Bar will close their premises voluntarily with immediate effect.

"And will do so until further advice by the relevant authorities.

"This decision was taken in light of the experiences of members of The Temple Bar Company over the last few days when it proved impossible to follow the public health advice to limit numbers and adequately implement measures on to control social distancing.

"Members of The Temple Bar Company felt it was inappropriate to request the diversion of Garda resources away from more pressing needs."

The district has a typical daily footfall of around 60,000 people, and today's decision comes less than 48 hours before St Patrick's Day.

However, the Temple Bar Company said the decision "was the correct one given the unprecedented circumstances".

Martin Harte, CEO of the company, said they spoke to gardaí about the best way forward.

He said: "The only sensible decision is to close down with immediate effect.

"It was completely voluntarily taken, and we met with all the businesses... they made a decision, and it's a tough decision.

"I think the businesses in Temple Bar have sent out a really strong message that they're willing to step up to the plate."

He also called for authorities to clarify what measures will be taken to help mitigate the impact of the current situation for employees and businesses - saying a lot of people will be affected by today's closures.

'Do the right thing'

Meanwhile, the HSE chief Paul Reid has called on any pubs and individuals not following health advice to 'cop on'.

He made the call amid the reports that a small number of pubs were still packed on Saturday night despite public health advice.

Mr Reid explained: "We've had great support from business, from communities, from the public in general - but obviously, a smaller number of pubs and indeed individuals have behaved in what I'd call quite a reckless way.

"The guidance is very clear - we're really asking those publicans and customers who haven't abided [by the advice] to just really cop on and wise up and do the right thing.

"Unfortunately, this is no longer a national weekend of celebrations - it is a national weekend of a national health crisis."

Main image: Temple Bar today after the announcement. Image: RollingNews.ie

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