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22nd Feb 2021

Cork business owner pens letter to Taoiseach – calling for leadership

Sarah Finnan

Hospitality workers across Ireland last week learned that it would be several more weeks until the industry is allowed to reopen with Taoiseach Michéal Martin saying that he doesn’t foresee pubs and restaurants being open until mid-summer.

Commenting that no major reopening of the economy is likely to happen after March 5th, Martin previously said that the hospitality sector must remain closed until there has been an increased rollout of the vaccination programme.

A devastating blow to an industry that has already suffered so much at the hands of Covid-19, publicans and restauranteurs have been reacting to the grim news, calling on government to sit down and come up with a cohesive plan that will enable them to prepare.

Venting his frustrations at the situation, one Cork business owner took to Twitter to share what he describes as “a few, carefully chosen words for our Taoiseach”.

Closed for nine months of last year, Richard Jacob of Idaho Café said that while he understands why hospitality businesses must close, what he doesn’t understand is why there is still no quarantine plan in place.

“We don’t understand why 5,600 people flew into Ireland from countries on Covid warning lists last month.

“We don’t understand why you still haven’t worked out a quarantine plan.

“We don’t understand the communication shambles. We don’t understand the contempt that you show to half a million people.”

Adding that people “don’t expect dynamism, just leadership”, Mr Jacob went on to say:

“Do not pretend to understand what it’s like to find that the business you built, the career that you chose, the future that you planned, are worthless in the eyes of our government.

“Do not pretend, lead.”

Commenting that the industry is waiting “with the last vestiges of hope”, the letter has resonated with many other hospitality workers – many of whom reshared it on Twitter urging others to read it too.

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