Fears for Cork city pubs as Government blocks reopening

Fears for Cork city pubs as Government blocks reopening
Michael O'Donovan of the Castle Inn, 99 South Main Street Cork CityPicture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK publican Michael O’Donovan has said that he fears for the future of the city’s ‘wet’ pubs, after owners were told they will be unable to reopen for the time being.

Mr O’Donovan said a number of establishments have been using savings or reserves to pay bills throughout the ordered closure and he warned these are running out in many instances.

The Cork city Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) chairperson was reacting to the announcement that pubs that do not serve food will not reopen next week on foot of medical advice in relation to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The acting chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, said last night: “There has been very significant growth in case numbers.

“They were growing rapidly in early August, much more slowly now, but still growing.

“We felt that we were not in a position to open pubs at this point but we will keep it under review.”

A further 93 cases were confirmed on Thursday evening, bringing the overall total of cases in Ireland to 28,453.

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

Speaking about the decision, Mr O’Donovan said: “Public health is the number one thing — but we are waiting on the Cabinet meeting today in the hope that substantial supports are put in place to help publicans who have been out of business for almost six months now.”

The VFI chairperson for Cork also highlighted that the moratorium on bank loans is set to end next week, and questioned what is to happen with regards to that.

“We are pleading with the Government to put substantial support in place.”

Mr O’Donovan said the VFI was pleading with the Government to introduce a number of substantial supports for publicans — or face serious losses in the industry.

John O’Connor, who runs An Spailpín Fánach pub on South Main Street said the Government should close all pubs, or open all pubs.

“You can’t argue with the figures, but why some are allowed open and others are not is another thing altogether.”

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