Pub punishments and penalties

 

Sir, – So, instead of imposing severe penalties on those who are not complying with the regulations, the Government punishes the only group (publicans) who we know did not contribute to the current spike in infections because their premises were closed (“Pubs to remain closed until September as restrictions tightened significantly”, Front page, August 5th).

We all know that no one is held accountable for their actions in this country, but I thought that as it is a matter of life and death, our politicians might have made an exception in this case. How naive of me. – Yours, etc,

JOHN McGRATH,

Ashford,

Co Wicklow.

A chara, – The Government’s decision to not open up the pubs could well prove to be a body blow to the ailing sector. The economic consequences are obvious but the Government stance is shortsighted too from a public health perspective. The Vintners Association and its members could be entrusted and empowered to enforce public health measures.

Currently you have everybody crammed into a small number of pubs “selling food” and house parties galore!

Open pubs and increase capacity. People want to and will socialise one way or another during the current phase and therefore a more nuanced approach is called for. A cautious and controlled opening of the pubs might have been more appropriate to limit the spread of the virus and the spread of the economic devastation infecting our hospitality sector! – Is mise,

KILLIAN BRENNAN,

Dublin 17.

Sir, – In the midst of a global health pandemic I have heard more media coverage about pubs reopening than the full resumption of our health, education and social care services in Ireland.

Every day I hear a media narrative about pubs reopening as if our very lives depended on it. Meanwhile, our elderly and most vulnerable live in fear, cancer patients navigate the impact of Covid-19 and wait for rescheduled appointments, children with disabilities wait for respite services to reopen and people requiring mental health services cannot yet regain full access to their services. Not to mention our children waiting to go back to school and their social group activities and clubs.

The reality is that there is a large percentage of the population who are either indifferent or would rather see the pubs stay closed.

I’m reminded of a very heavy snow fall a number of years ago (which brought the country to a standstill). I remember driving to my local town to attempt to get water, milk and bread. No shops were open so I could not purchase even the most basic provisions – however 19 pubs were open!

Off licences and supermarkets are reporting Christmas-levels of alcohol sales throughout this pandemic in Ireland.

If and when this Covid-19 crisis finally ends, maybe it would be high time we had a serious look at this country’s drink problem? – Yours, etc,

CONOR BRADY,

Co Kildare.

Sir, – No grub pub snub. – Yours, etc,

ULTAN Ó BROIN,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – I feel sorry for publicans. I am not a regular pub visitor, but enjoy the occasional night out with friends in my local.

Recently I visited a pub which serves food in the west of Ireland. I was there on business, and with a colleague. We managed to reserve a table and enjoyed a beautiful meal, with wine. The establishment was very busy with all tables occupied. Most people were drinking alcohol and having a good time. There was one table of 12 people sitting tightly together. This table was soon vacated and another 12 arrived. I ask myself why is this situation totally legal, and apparently without danger of spreading the virus, while pubs without food cannot trade at all.

If authorities are not concerned about the virus spreading in such a relaxed environment surely all pubs should have the opportunity to trade, with certain regulations. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN MC KENNA,

Dublin 5.