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'Sympathy will not save jobs' - Pub groups hit out over continued closure

Two groups which represent the pub sector claim the Government has 'abandoned' 3,500 pubs. It com...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.31 4 Aug 2020


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'Sympathy will not save jobs'...

'Sympathy will not save jobs' - Pub groups hit out over continued closure

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.31 4 Aug 2020


Share this article


Two groups which represent the pub sector claim the Government has 'abandoned' 3,500 pubs.

It comes as plans for them to re-open under phase four was delayed for a second time on Tuesday.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) say the sector is facing a full blown crisis, which will place "intolerable pressure" on publicans, staff, suppliers and their families.

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They also say the decision will be met with "fury and despair" across the sector.

In a joint statement, the groups say: "3,500 pubs across Ireland had been expecting to re-open next week but must now remain closed.

"The majority of pubs across Ireland are still closed and they will now have to keep their doors shut for a minimum of 168 days, which represents 46% of a year."

They add that sympathy being expressed by the Government "will not save pub businesses or jobs."

They have both called for the immediate introduction of a support package for the pubs.

They also say that pubs which are closed will not benefit from the stimulus package announced in July.

"This is the second time in three weeks that the Government has delayed the re-opening of the pubs.

"The Government is also yet to publish the guidelines for how these pubs will be expected to operate."

Padraig Cribben, VFI chief executive, says: "This is groundhog day for the trade as twice now the re-opening of pubs has been postponed.

"The new Government’s decision has caused grave alarm within the trade as publicans face an extremely uncertain future with little to feel optimistic about.

"Make no mistake, this is a full-blown crisis for the trade as over 3,500 pubs must now remain shut."

Chief executive of the LVA Donall O’Keeffe adds: "The Government has basically just abandoned half the pub sector.

"It's becoming increasingly obvious that they don't have a plan for dealing with our sector.

"We're repeatedly being told that opening the pubs ‘could lead to an increase in the virus’.

"Well when will that not be the case? Was that not a potential issue at the other phases too? With NPHET always urging caution, when will this Government ever re-open pubs?

"This decision will be met with both fury and despair across the entire sector.

"It is creating intolerable pressure on those pubs still closed, their 25,000 staff, suppliers to the industry and all their families.

"The Government can’t keep stringing the entire sector along like this. Where is their plan?

"Where are their supports for the industry?

"The pubs that are closed or their staff certainly won’t benefit from the July stimulus if they have to stay closed and the future viability of these businesses is in doubt."

Main image: The Auld Dubliner pub in Dublin's Temple Bar is seen closed in June 2020. Picture by: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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Donall O’Keeffe Licensed Vintners Association Padraig Cribben Pub Sector Pubs Vintners' Federation Of Ireland

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