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Let's drink to our pubs' prospects of managing a happy return

Breandan Mac Suibhne


Licensed premises have a long history of controlling their customers: they're well-placed to cope with social distancing, writes Breandan Mac Suibhne

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'I cannot understand why public houses will remain closed when restaurants open.' Stock picture

'I cannot understand why public houses will remain closed when restaurants open.' Stock picture

'I cannot understand why public houses will remain closed when restaurants open.' Stock picture

In a public house in the western suburbs of a city in the west of the country there was, before the pandemic, one consummate barman.

He was never to be caught gawping at the television or gabbing with cronies, gaming on his phone or giving unsolicited advice. No, like a gun-fighter in a classic western, he was constantly scanning the saloon - not unfriendly but laconic, a strong, silent type. The door would open, his eyes would meet those of an incoming customer, and with an exchange of nods and gestures befitting a veteran auction-goer, he would pull the appropriate pint.

He was truly superb, the master and commander of all he surveyed.