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Michael O'Donovan of the Castle Inn, 99 South Main Street Cork CityPicture: Eddie O'Hare
Michael O'Donovan of the Castle Inn, 99 South Main Street Cork CityPicture: Eddie O'Hare
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Cork publican gives cautious welcome to reopening of 'wet pubs' later this month

Speculation that pubs will be allowed on September 21, has been given a cautious welcome by Cork city’s Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) chairperson Michael O’Donovan.

The Cabinet is meeting today to discuss the roadmap for the country and within it are understood to have agreed on a date for pubs to reopen.

Mr O’Donovan told The Echo publicans have been here three times in the past two and a half months but said they would be delighted if pubs serving no food were allowed to open this month.

Mr O’Donovan, who runs The Castle Inn on South Main Street said “please God” they are formally given a date by the Government before the bank moratorium runs out at the end of September.

“The supports that have been given to publicans are insufficient and the moratorium is up at the end of the month. We need to open and trade.” 

Discussing the viability of ‘wet’ pubs in the current climate, the Cork city VFI chairperson said there was no way of knowing what trade would be like until they open their doors to the public.

Looking at the draft guidelines that were leaked the publican said the 1hr 45mins is a bone of contention.

“We know that people will move on to another place and rural pubs will find it very difficult,” Mr O’Donovan said.

Despite this, the VFI chairperson for Cork city said the main priority was to get the pubs open as soon as possible and to tackle the guidelines after.

“We will follow the rules, even if we don’t agree with them.” Mr O’Donovan said he expected clarity regarding the pubs to be brought by the end of the week or early next week.