Government ‘makes a complete mess’ of pub reopening

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Cllr Conor Sheehan, Labour. Photo: Cian Reinhardt

THE Government have made a ‘complete mess’ of pub reopening plans. That’s according to Limerick Labour councillor Conor Sheehan who was speaking after the reopening of pubs was delayed again until August 31.

“While I understand the valid concerns surrounding the increase in Covid cases in recent days and would urge everyone to continue to follow the public health advice, I feel very sorry for pub owners around Limerick who must genuinely feel strung along,” Cllr Sheehan told the Limerick Post.

“The whole policy of allowing some pubs to reopen and to keep others closed is discriminatory and lacks any basis in science, as if a lasagne or a chicken korma will guard any of us against the virus. If those pubs can remain open safely, why couldn’t the remainder open under strict enforced guidelines?

“Many of these pub owners are hard working people and have in some instances spent thousands upgrading their premises in line with public health guidelines only to be given another slap in the face and told again that they cannot reopen,” he said.

The Limerick City North representative takes the view that the hospitality industry is being disproportionately punished for the “idiotic scenes in Kilkee” where hundreds of people crowded onto the beach drinking over the Bank Holiday weekend.

“They have still not addressed the fact that 90 per cent of people flying into Dublin Airport are flying in from non green list countries and should be mandatorily tested for Covid-19 upon arrival and compelled to self isolate for 14 days. Nor have they adequately addressed the issues around clusters of the virus developing in factories such as in Kildare and Tullamore.

“The Government have made a complete mess and turned pubs reopening into a debacle by stringing along pub owners and their staff. If the pubs genuinely cannot open soon then the state needs to step in with a comprehensive financial package for pub owners who may not be able to reopen again unless they receive financial assistance,” he concluded.