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25th Aug 2020

Two-thirds of publicans believe they will be forced to close by January 2021

Sarah Finnan


This follows a nationwide campaign that saw publicans and bar staff calling for ‘support not sympathy‘, putting pressure on authorities to announce a support package for the industry.

A new report carried out by the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) has revealed that the Government is losing the support of the pub sector. According to the data collected, over 80 per cent of publicans whose pubs are still closed no longer support the Government.

With over 3,500 pubs still closed amidst ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, a statement from the two Vintners organisations has said that publicans are not optimistic that pubs will be allowed to reopen at the end of the month.

Initially due to reopen on August 10th, that date has since been pushed back to August 31st and over two-thirds of those surveyed have said that they believe they will go out of business by January 2021 if forced to stay shut any longer.

A post on the VFI website states that most in the industry believe the reopening will be delayed for a third time in light of public health conditions, with the focus now on what plan the Government will bring forward if that is the case.

Speaking of the report findings, Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the VFI, commented:

“This survey highlights how much the pubs that are still closed feel abandoned by the Government. They feel like they have been cast adrift with no support and only shallow declarations of ‘sympathy’.

There is little expectation that the Government will allow these pubs to reopen next week. So the question is what are they going to do for these pubs who are being deprived from opening their doors by Government order.

If they are being asked, as the Government has put it, to “make national sacrifice” then the Government must have a plan that recognises that sacrifice and allows these businesses to survive.”

Only four per cent of the 1,539 publicans surveyed described themselves as feeling content.

Header image via Shutterstock/Empty bar counter at pub

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