Publican apologises for saying he wants 10 more years of pandemic due to supports

Owner of Cork bar and restaurant filmed saying if Covid continued he could buy ‘a place in Barbados’

Tony Campion, owner of The Silver Key pub and restaurant in Ballinlough, Cork city was filmed in the outdoor area of his business. Photograph: Facebook

Tony Campion, owner of The Silver Key pub and restaurant in Ballinlough, Cork city was filmed in the outdoor area of his business. Photograph: Facebook

 

A Cork bar owner has apologised after he was caught on video saying he wanted the pandemic to continue for “another 10 years” such is the level of financial support he has received from the Government.

Tony Campion, owner of the Silver Key pub and restaurant in Ballinlough, Cork city was filmed in the outdoor area of his business saying he hoped that Covid-19 would continue for another decade so he could buy “ a place in Barbados”.

Mr Campion told those listening that he was paying out far less in wages since the pandemic broke out as he is down 24 staff members from 64 to 40.

“My payroll is about eighteen and a half K (thousand) per week. It was about thirty two K (thousand) a week. And the Irish Government gives me $15,000 back every week in a Government subsidy.”

The video, which Mr Campion said was filmed without his consent or knowledge, was shared widely on social media over the the weekend.

When contactedon Saturday by The Irish Times, Mr Campion declined to comment. However, he subsequently posted a statement on the Silver Key Facebook page apologising for his remarks.

“They say that when drink is in, sense is out and boy has this wise old phrase echoed ever so loudly for me over the past few days.

“Recently, during a private party at my premises I insensitively bragged about payments relating to Covid. At the time, I believed this to be a bit of inebriated banter among friends. Unbeknown to me however, was that my bravado was being surreptitiously filmed without my consent and that the video would then be later used online as a vehicle to publicly embarrass, humiliate and in some cases, abuse and threaten me.

“What I said was wrong and I am sorry for it. I have been under a lot of anxiety and stress since the death of my father and mother in law - all happening during Covid. Letting off steam like this was one of my ways of coping with it, although totally inappropriate.”

Mr Campion said that he understood the suffering of many people during the pandemic. “I wholeheartedly apologise for any upset caused to anyone by my comments.”

A spokesperson for the local branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland declined to comment.