Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced on Wednesday evening that Ireland would not enter phase four of the roadmap to reopening business and society and that pubs that were due to reopen would remain shut until August 10.
The Government’s decision has been met with criticism from the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) and publicans alike who say that this is “the last nail in the coffin” for many pub owners who will now miss out on the busiest four week period of the season.
The VFI is seeking urgent engagement with the Government to press the case for a major support package for pubs that will have been closed for five months by the time they are allowed recommence trading.
Cork publican and VFI chair Michael O’Donovan said although public health is of the “utmost importance”, the delay could “spell disaster” for many of his colleagues.
Mr O’Donovan said the decision to keep the pubs closed ends the season for many, and he said he was “really upset” for his colleagues who have ordered stock over the last few days in preparation for re-opening and those who have taken back staff for training purposes.
The VFI have also called for a ban on the sale of alcohol.
Mr O’Donovan said that if the Government were to get serious about controlling the number of house parties occurring, this measure needs to be taken.
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