Taoiseach warns re-opening of all pubs could be delayed following crowded scenes outside Dublin bars

Taoiseach warns re-opening of all pubs could be delayed following crowded scenes outside Dublin bars

The Taoiseach has warned that the planned re-opening of all pubs in Ireland could be delayed.

It comes after concerns were voiced over images of crowds gathering on streets in Dublin at the weekend.

An Garda Síochána has also conducted checks of thousands of licensed premises around the country under ‘Operation Navigation’ in receht days in relation to adherence to the public health guidelines.

A report on the issue is to be presented before the cabinet today.

Currently, only pubs serving a 'substantial meal' are permitted to be open with all other pubs expected to reopen later this month.

Speaking to PJ Coogan on 96fm’s Opinion Line today, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that while the vast majority of licensees were compliant, there were breaches of the regulations and this was “a big worry”.

“Some of the scenes that were witnessed are just very worrying. The social distancing was not being complied with at all during a number of the inspections and the opening hours weren’t being adhered to either,” he said.

Asked if the opening of pubs in Ireland could be delayed, the Taoiseach said that this was the case.

“The full opening was to take place on the 20th of July, and people do need to behave,” he said.

The Taoiseach said they will receive advice on the issue from public health officials and that he was conscious that they did not want to “injure or undermine” the majority of businesses that had adhered to the guidance.

“There’s an obligation on everybody to behave here, and indeed on ourselves, again as the public. Individual responsibility matters here,” he said.

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