Keeping the ‘wet pubs’ closed

 

Sir, – With Tuesday’s announcement that “wet pubs” will not be reopening any time soon, the need for financial compensation of this industry is now inescapable (Front page, August 5th).

I am a publican who has been in the business for over 50 years, and it is demoralising and alarming to see an industry with such great cultural, societal, and economic significance be disregarded by the Government in this way.

Pubs such as mine have now been without income for almost five months, and during those months, expenses such as insurance, security, and utilities still have needed to be paid.

I am a pensioner and work part-time in my business. Yet that loss of income has not been addressed in any form by the government.

Publicans have also paid out large sums of money to upgrade their premises to meet safety concerns regarding coronavirus – all while waiting (and still waiting) for official guidelines from the Government.

A major increase to grant aid for pubs (rather than loans) is urgently needed.

My pub – like other pubs in my locality – closed its doors before we were instructed to do so by the government, such was our concern for the health of our clientele; we understand the health and safety of customers must be the priority in government decisions.

But publicans – many of whom are elderly, are running a family business, and are struggling, with our livelihoods on the brink of collapse – desperately need help from the Government now. Our businesses were the first to close and will likely be the last to reopen.

As such, we expect and deserve direct communication and financial support without further delay. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN EARLEY,

Skerries, Co Dublin.

Sir, – I do have every sympathy with our pressured pub owners.

However, the public good must at all times take precedence over the commercial interests of this group.

Two articles in your paper on Wednesday reinforce this view. Rural publicans express a view that their locality is by and large Covid free (“Landlord says decision now puts livelihood under threat”, Home News August 5th). On the previous page (“Just one in four new cases occur in Dublin”, Home News August 5th) suggests a real issue in rural Ireland in direct contradiction to recent statements.

As I write (August 5th at 4pm)some 46 new cases have been notified already today with almost all in rural counties. This reinforces the very wise decision taken by the Cabinet on Tuesday. – Yours, etc,

DEREK MACHUGH,

Bray, Co Wicklow.

A chara, – I live in a rural area where all the pubs are shut. I am now sitting, at 10.45am, in a “gastropub” in one of the most affluent areas of Dublin. I never saw so many people having pints with their breakfast. One lad is getting tucked into a bottle of the €32 Rioja. Dropping a tenner in order to have a few drinks is clearly not the obstacle here it might be in other parts of the city or country. – Is mise,

DAVE SLATER,

Co Kildare.