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VFI "demand" government open wet pubs this Friday, claim misleading data used to keep them closed

By Rory Cashin

December 2, 2020 at 3:11pm

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The Vintners Federation of Ireland have issued a very strong statement today.

The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) have today demanded that the government open all pubs - including wet pubs, and not just pubs with in-house kitchen facilities - after claiming that the data used to keep them closed has been misleading.

As it stands, only pubs with the capabilities of serving a substantial meal will be allowed to open on Friday, December 4.

The VFIs full statement can be read here, but some of the highlights include:

"The Government used misleading data and information to keep wet pubs closed, according to the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI). In a strident rebuttal of the information published by the Government, the vintners representatives have highlighted 14 different flaws, deceptive uses of data and incomplete considerations.

"The vintners have characterised the Government report as a 'smear on the sector' which amounts to a 'politically motivated hatchet job on wet pubs'. In particular, the vintners highlighted that the Government report:

  • Does not show any evidence to suggest that wet pubs pose a greater risk than outlets serving food;
  • Deliberately highlights wet pubs when the evidence was just as relevant to the reopening of universities and specific sporting events;
  • Does not account for Dublin being placed in Level 3+ long before the rest of the country;
  • Uses spurious correlation to imply causation.

"In light of the flawed nature of the information keeping wet pubs closed, the two representative bodies have demanded that wet pubs be allowed to reopen at the same time as the rest of the hospitality sector on Friday 4th December."

Additionally, VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben said the following:

"It is absolutely astounding that Government is using a flimsy, misleading document to keep the wet pubs closed. Their so called evidence is littered with deceptive uses of information and massive gaps in their analysis. It is a smear on the sector, a politically motivated hatchet job on wet pubs. How any serious decision maker could use this deeply inadequate report as a rationale for decimating half the industry tells us a lot about the levels of consideration shown by this Government towards the pubs of Ireland."

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