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‘We’ve done our time and it’s great to be back’: owners and patrons make the most of nightclubs reopening


Queues form outside O2 in Gorey.

Queues form outside O2 in Gorey.

Queue forms outside the O2 in Gorey.

Queue forms outside the O2 in Gorey.

Reopening of nightclubs in Gorey.

Reopening of nightclubs in Gorey.


Queues form outside O2 in Gorey.


THERE was a giddy atmosphere on the streets of Gorey and Courtown at the weekend as nightclubs and late bars opened at full capacity for the first time in over a year due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Queues formed outside the 64 for the O2 nightclub on Saturday and Sunday with security and bouncers managing those in line and checking vaccination certificates.

Owner Sean Doyle said that they had been expecting a crowd.

“After being closed for so long, it’s great to get back and we had been expecting a big crowd because the feedback we had been getting from customers on social media was very positive. 

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“We’re okay staff wise, we luckily retained our main staff and we pulled in a few staff from our other pubs as well and we hired new staff too in the lead up to this. We have all our staff trained up with the new restrictions but we sort of predicted what was coming anyway so that did give us an advantage. If anything changes we’ll train up our staff accordingly but like everyone in the industry, we’ll do whatever it takes to get open and stay open.

“Thankfully I think we’re finished with the dark days of being locked down, we’ve done our time so now we just need people back in to support us”.

Nightclub-goers were also delighted to see doors back open.

Dylan McLoughlin (21) travelled to Gorey from Monamolin and Niamh Kavanagh (20) came from Oulart. 

“We came out tonight because we haven’t been out in two years and we wanted see what it was all about. Both of us were very excited about it and not nervous at all,’ they said.

Dylan said that he hopes the hospitality scene can stay open, but Niamh said she wasn’t very confident it would.

“I don’t think it’s going to stay open because Covid cases and hospital cases are too high. I want to make the most of it now as I 100 per cent think they’ll close again,” she said.

Philippa Murphy said that was happy to be back out.

“Generally we’ve been inside for about a year and a half now so with Covid subsiding a small bit I wanted to come out to experience a bit of a social life again. I was a small bit nervous but at the same time I told myself that I have to go out to socialise because we have to move on a small bit. I’m still aware of the fact that Covid is a big thing but at the same time I’m ready to move on with my life and hopefully get out a bit more from now on. I hope pubs and nightclubs will stay open, I know that lockdown is always looming though”.

Hannah Doolan (20) came to Gorey from Hollyfort with her friend Josh Jackson.

“It’s good to be out to feel young again and we were all excited about going back out,” she said. 

“The way things are at the moment, we think things will close again a lot sooner than people were anticipating at the start. In my mind I’m still 18 but there were girls we met at the pub who were 19 and it was their first night out, so we felt lucky that we got to experience some of this before Covid came but now we’re just that bit older now experiencing it again”.

Josh agreed adding that he opened the nightclubs stay open for people of their age group. 

Shane Barnes was out with his friends to celebrate a recent birthday and said he was full of confidence.

“I haven’t been out in two years and I’m vaccinated so I wanted to come out to celebrate that. Things are a bit different around the town then they used to be but I hope the pubs and night clubs can stay open, I don’t see why not”.

Gardai are not in charge of enforcing the new restrictions, but were on patrol over the weekend and said that there were just minor issues in relation to public order.

The current restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks time.