A bar and restaurant owner has apologised after he was caught on video saying that he wanted the Covid pandemic to continue for “another 10 years” such is the level of financial support he has received from the Government.
Tony Campion, owner of The Silver Key pub and restaurant in Ballinlough, Cork city, was filmed in the outdoor area of his business saying that he hoped that Covid would continue for another decade to facilitate him buying “a place in Barbados”.
The video which was filmed without the consent or knowledge of Mr Campion was shared widely on social media over the weekend.
Mr Campion told punters that he was paying out far less in wages since the pandemic broke out as he is down 24 staff members from 64 to 40.
“My payroll is about €18,500 per week, it was about €32,000 a week. And the Irish Government gives me 15,000 dollars [sic] back every week in a Government subsidy.”
Mr Campion subsequently posted a statement on The Silver Key Facebook page apologising for his remarks.
“They say that when drink is in, sense is out and boy has this wise old phrase echoed ever so loudly for me over the past few days.
“Recently, during a private party at my premises I insensitively bragged about payments relating to Covid. At the time, I believed this to be a bit of inebriated banter among friends. Unbeknown to me however, was that my bravado was being surreptitiously filmed without my consent and that the video would then be later used online as a vehicle to publicly embarrass, humiliate and in some cases, abuse and threaten me.
“What I said was wrong and I am sorry for it. I have been under a lot of anxy and stress since the death of my father and mother in law - all happening during Covid. Letting off steam like this was one of my ways of coping with it, although totally inappropriate.”
Mr Campion said that he understood the suffering of many people doing the pandemic.
“I wholeheartedly apologise for any upset caused to anyone by my comments.”