Clare VFI Chair Calls For Counter Service To Resume Once Schools Reopen

Photo (c) by Christian_Birkholz from pixabay vis

The Clare Chair of the VFI wants bar counter service to resume once schools reopen in September.

It comes as representatives from the hospitality sector are meeting with government officials today and are calling for a further easing of restrictions.


Bars and restaurants have been allowed to serve inside their businesses since Monday of last week.

However, that’s limited to fully vaccinated adults, those who’ve recovered from Covid, and their children.

There are now calls from prominent voices in the sector to further ease indoor service restrictions, as more and more people become fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Industry representatives are to sit down with government officials today to examine whether it’s possible to allow later closing times, as well as relaxations on table service and social distancing.

Charlie O Meara, of O Dea’s Bar in Ennis, believes being able to sit at the bar is important, particularly for older customers, and wants this to be the focus of the negotiations.

There has also been speculation that PCR and antigen testing may form part of proposals to relax indoor dining restrictions further.

However, Brian O Neill of the Rowan Tree Cafe Bar in Ennis isn’t sure that’ll work, and may add further difficulties to business owners.

High on the agenda with representatives will also be the current closing time of 11.30pm.

But the President of Ennis Chamber believes it’s too soon to be extending opening hours.

Darragh McAllister, himself a publican, says the return of increased numbers indoors is more important going forward.