Home News Local TD hits out at ‘shameful treatment of rural publicans by government’

Local TD hits out at ‘shameful treatment of rural publicans by government’

Independent TD for Laois-Offaly, Carol Nolan, has hit out at the government decision to instruct pubs who do not serve food to remain closed until August 10.

Today, July 20, should’ve been the day that all pubs around the country were permitted to open their doors again.

However, fears over an increase in Coronavirus cases prompted the government to pause Phase 4 of the Roadmap to Recovery until next month.

What that means is that just pubs who have been serving food are allowed to be open today.

Deputy Nolan said: “The shock decision taken by government has left publicans, and rural publicans in particular, absolutely furious.

“There has been an appalling lack of consultation with the publicans and the Vintners on this matter and this has only added to the extreme stress that many of them are experiencing.

“We know that there are 73 pubs in Offaly and 61 in Laois that will be affected by this decision.

“It is just not fair or right to have brought these businesses practically to the point of re-opening only to have the door slammed in their faces with a totally unexpected announcement.

“Up to before that decision, the Vintners Association were still calling for government guidelines on re-opening as part of the supports they will need to adapt their businesses to ensure they comply with the public health requirements.”

Nolan has called on the government to provide grants to rural pubs to keep them afloat.

She said: “At this point however, what the rural pubs will need, if they are to have future at all, is grants. I am hearing of grants being needed in the region of €20-€50,000.

“The government must respect the fact that the vast majority of publicans have acted completely responsibly during this crisis.

“That sense of solidarity however is not being reciprocated which is a huge shame and one that the government and our local economies may well come to regret.”

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