‘Govern­ment keep­ing bars shut for no rea­son’

Irish Independent - - News | Coronaviru­s Emergency - Laura Lynott

THE owner of one of Ire­land’s most fa­mous pubs has crit­i­cised the Govern­ment for cre­at­ing a “folly” that “pubs cause the virus” dur­ing the Covid-19 cri­sis.

Tom Cleary, owner of the Tem­ple Bar in Dublin, is con­cerned over rum­blings the Govern­ment will again row back on the open­ing of so-called ‘wet’ pubs – those which don’t serve food – on Au­gust 10. He said there was a risk bars would “go bust”.

“Of­fices are closed, there’s no tourists, Dublin city cen­tre is dead. The Health Min­is­ter and civil ser­vants are de­tached from re­al­ity,” he said. “The ru­mours are the pubs won’t be al­lowed to open on Au­gust 10, that it’ll be pushed back due to an in­crease in cases. That’s un­fair. We were closed for months, so it’s not our fault there are more cases.

“The Govern­ment needs to look at house par­ties and ex­ces­sive drink­ing from drinks bought in off-li­cences and su­per­mar­kets.

“Pubs offer a con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment to drink in. Our pub is li­censed for 600 peo­ple, so we can eas­ily cut it to 150 and have re­laxed so­cial dis­tanc­ing for peo­ple and staff.

“Let us sign up to that and open up. We have two beer gar­dens, an out­door seat­ing area. It’s a folly that pubs are caus­ing the virus. The Govern­ment is keep­ing us closed with­out rea­son.”

Mr Cleary said there needed to be more em­pha­sis on masks and en­sur­ing so­cial dis­tanc­ing, in­stead of the Govern­ment “kick­ing pubs in the teeth”.

And he la­belled some pubs serv­ing food, which opened in re­cent weeks, as “pre­tend restau­rants”.

“Some of them are pre­tend­ing to serve [food]. It’s a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.