Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.36 29 Jun 2021


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A restaurant owner in Dublin says she is finding it 'impossible' to operate a business here, after the latest re-opening delay.

It comes as the return of indoor activities is being delayed by at least two weeks.

Indoor dining is expected to open to fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from COVID sometime after July 19th, with a system for managing it being worked out over the coming weeks.

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Gina Murphy is the owner of Hugo's restaurant on Merrion Row in Dublin. She told The Hard Shoulder this is simply not workable.

"I'm beyond disappointed, they've had six months to get all this in place.

"We shut down on December 23rd, we couldn't open on the 24th - we lost hundreds of thousands of euros worth of food that was discarded.

"They've had six months to plan this for every connotation, and we get six days notice.

"We've already placed orders, we have rehired staff - I have spent the day today taking cancellations for people that had booked tables indoors.

"It just does not make sense".

Gina says her suppliers will now be left with perishable goods going to waste.

"The famers have been notified, the abattoirs have been notified, the fishermen, the growers - everybody was on notice that we were due to open and we had full books.

"And now all these suppliers are going to be left with produce on their hands, and we deal in perishable goods.

"That has not been taken into consideration, it's disgraceful.

"I'm finding it impossible to own and operate a business in this country".

'Nobody is listening to us'

On new proposals to open indoor hospitality to vaccinated people only, Gina says it's not up to her to 'police' it.

"I see that as being ridiculous, I am not the vaccine police.

"Who am I to say that a piece of paper that somebody hands me is a real or a forgery?

"This is just ridiculous stuff, and it's not workable".

And Gina adds there is a big disconnect when it comes to her sector.

"Nobody is listening to us; do they not understand our industry?

"One in 10 people in this country is employed in hospitality and tourism.

"It's really frustrating to not be acknowledged for what we contribute to society and to the economy.

"We've had six months to come up with all the different ways that we could deal with curve balls that are coming at us.

"There's going to be curve balls for years to come, we have to be able to deal with this - we've got to get back living.

"We've had our livelihoods destroyed for the last 16 months, destroyed".

Restaurant owner 'finding it impossible to run a business here'

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Main image: Picture by: Twitter/@hugosrest

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