Cork publican: Some city pubs months away from closing for good

Cork publican: Some city pubs months away from closing for good

A CORK publican has raised concerns about a recent survey finding that two-thirds of Ireland’s pubs will be out of business by the new year if current conditions persist.

Referring to a survey of 1,539 publicans whose businesses remain closed, the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) said that the vast majority are losing faith in the Government with 82% no longer in support of the Government and 91% unsatisfied with its handling of the current crisis.

Owner of Nana’s pub on Douglas Street, Steven Hackett, said he believes there are “certain people in government that are trying to help but are not being allowed”.

“The likes of NPHET and some people in the Government don't want the pubs open but there are some politicians who understand pubs, know pubs and who socialise and they're in support of helping the wet pubs and letting us operate the same as the restaurants.

“That’s all we’re asking for is a chance to prove ourselves, to open and show that we can operate safely,” he said.

Nana's owner Steve Hackett. Picture: Denis Minihane.
Nana's owner Steve Hackett. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The survey also found that 48% of the pubs still closed have accrued debts of €16,000 or more since the lockdown began while one in five of those pubs have accumulated debts of at least €30,000.

Mr Hackett said what concerns him is the survey’s finding that 65% of publicans who are not allowed to open their doors believe they will go out of business by January 2021.

He said “there’s still a bit of water in the well that isn’t dry yet” for Nana’s but that there are outstanding bills to be paid with no money coming in.

“There was a VFI meeting recently where a few publicans were telling of the problems they are facing and one of them said he was two months away from losing his business.

“Then you've people who have landlords. Some people who own their building aren't worried about when they open. I have a landlord and it’s coming to the sixth month of closure so what'll happen then?"

Mr Hackett also raised concerns about the pubs who are not adhering to the rules.

“I know what's happening and the dogs on the street know what’s happening and yet nothing is being done about it."

Mr Hackett has owned the pub on Douglas Street for two and a half years.

The Cabinet is due to discuss over the coming days whether the 3,500 pubs still closed across the country can reopen on August 31.

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