A BUSINESSMAN has slammed a number of Cork barbershops for operating secretly in violation of coronavirus restrictions.
Mick Moriarty, who owns the Baldy Barber in Blackpool, said he heard from employees of three Cork barbershops about businesses going underground since the beginning of the pandemic.
“There are customers being taken in through the backdoors of Cork barbershops,” he revealed.
“It’s terrible. These people are getting €350 a week just to stay at home, yet they still insist on breaking the rules.
"You only have to take a look around and see the appearance of certain people to realise that these can’t all be home haircuts."
Mr Moriarty’s biggest concern is that this behaviour could become more widespread.
“It’s been going on since the start of the pandemic. Now, however, it’s happening more than ever,” he said.
“My customers are asking me 'how long more'?”
He voiced concern that a number of barbers will no longer be able to work, adding: “There’s a fear that many will not be back at all after this or at least they will no longer be working in the public eye.”
He spoke of how a minority of barbers across the country have been ignoring government advice since the start of the pandemic.
“It was always going on but now more than ever.”
Mr Moriarty said that offers of extra money have tempted a number.
“A number of customers are offering to pay a lot more money than they usually would for a haircut.
"What’s worrying is if this will put us back a phase. It’s plain to see that many of the people we are seeing on television are getting professional haircuts.
"I think this is something we all need to be in together. If people are growing out their hair let them grow it out on television as well.”
He added that barbers and salon owners are in desperate need of guidance in order for their businesses to operate as safely as possible.
“What we need is advice from medical professionals as opposed to politicians.”
According to Mr Moriarty, a return to normality will be far from straight forward.
"To repair a home hair cut takes a long time. It’s going to be tough for barbers," he said.