Cork publican warns keeping pubs closed will result in serious societal issues and a spike in Covid cases 

Cork publican warns keeping pubs closed will result in serious societal issues and a spike in Covid cases 
Picture: Des Barry.

Leading Cork publican Benny McCabe has announced he will be opening several of the Heritage pubs next week while warning that pub closures will lead to a rise in Covid cases, among other issues due to unregulated drinking.

The publican, who owns Crane Lane, Arthur Maynes, Sin É, Mutton Lane, The Oval, Rising Sons and Bodega, is set to reopen his pubs that serve food, leaving those that don’t, including Mutton Lane, Sin É and The Oval closed until August.

His decision not to reopen his establishments that serve food until July was down to “taking a bit of time to do a proper job and do everything right”.

Posting on social media, Mr McCabe said that he would have been opening the pubs without food in August anyway due to the lack of guidance given by the Government.

Picture: Des Barry.
Picture: Des Barry.

The publican said that keeping the pubs closed for another three weeks was “denying a unique social culture” and said while 4,000 plus pubs closed there were 25,000 unofficial pubs created “in every garage and shed in the country." 

Mr McCabe said he had never in his life witnessed an industry which has been attacked In such a manner, albeit unintentionally, but also said although it has been and will continue to be a “tough year for pubs” that the future will be bright for those in the industry as “people will realise a lot more what the pubs stand for”.

Mr McCabe predicted a number of things would be realised in hindsight about the pub closures in months to come, including an uncontrollable spike in Covid cases due to unregulated house parties.

“It will be acknowledged that the delaying of opening pubs will have been a huge contributor to what in hindsight was a large spike in cases if they can’t control the house parties.” 

The publican also said he thought drink driving will spike and alcohol-related admission to A&E will rise considerably as well as a “heinous rise in domestic abuse” 

Mr McCabe thinks sexual assault will also rise during this period of pub closures and that the pub will be viewed in a more positive light following retrospective examination of the issues that became exacerbated without the institution of the pub.

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