“Restrictions are just not plausible or feasible for publicans”

Liam Gilleran.

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland, which represents pubs outside Dublin, says about half of them will not re-open on June 29, the start of Phase Three of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and from what Topic has been told this week, it appears to definitely be the case.

Guidelines published by Fáilte Ireland last week say pubs must be able to offer a meal costing at least €9 to reopen. Those unable to do so must wait until Phase 4 of the re-opening, scheduled for 20 July.

Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) chief executive Padraig Cribben has also said that halving of social distancing measures for pubs and restaurants from two metres to one would still be restrictive.

Well-known Mullingar Publican, Liam Gilleran, who owns Gilleran’s Bar, Harbour Street and is chairperson of the Mullingar and District VFI, said that he agreed with Mr. Cribbens’ assertion that the one-metre rule will greatly restrict capacity.

“€350 a week on the Covid payment sounds grand, but it doesn’t pay the bills.”