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Pubs rocked again

Govt. 'Bombshell' leaves publicans wondering if it's the final straw

Publicans determined to put a brave face on an extremely difficult situation were left more grim this week after the government cancelled plans to reopen pubs on August 10.

The Harp & Shamrock Bar in Kiskeam which is affectionately known locally as 'The Shamrock's' has been a landmark family business in the Village for generations. Proprietor Julia Murphy described the news of the continued lockdown for pubs as "a bombshell".

"I had stock in, we were ready to go and now we are in no man's land again for the next several weeks," she said.

Julia described the regulars at the Shamrock's as 'family'. "We miss the company. The last few months have been very hard and also for the punters who come in as much for the social aspect as well as for a pint" she said.

Not too far away, TD's has been one of the most popular Bars in Newmarket town for many years. Proprietor TD Cronin said that everyone he met over the past week had been looking forward to the reopening of the pubs.

"It's actually frightening to see how quiet Newmarket is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights," he said. "The trade had already weakened considerably over the past few years, and I think this continued lockdown will be the final straw".

However, he hopes there are brighter days ahead and is looking forward to welcoming his customers back soon.

The Government has abandoned the 3,500 smaller pubs across Ireland following their decision to stop pubs from reopening next week, said the Licensed Vintners Association and the Vintners Federation of Ireland. The two representative bodies now believe the sector is facing a full blown crisis which will place "intolerable pressure" on publicans, staff, suppliers and all their families.