Clare VFI Chair Calls On Government For Clarity On How Pubs Can Survive Pandemic

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The Chair of Clare VFI is calling on the Government to provide clarity on how pubs can weather the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Health Minister has said that as long as COVID-19 is with us, mass gatherings can’t happen, seemingly ruling out the prospect of pub openings any time soon.

Some publicans fear that they’ll never be able to re-open.


Senior Health Officials are meeting today to discuss how the lifting of restrictions could work, IF they were to be eased next month.

The current lockdown is in place until May 5th.

But it seems the re-opening of pubs, is far down the priority list of businesses, following comments by Minister Simon Harris, in which he said people couldn’t gather in a packed pub before a vaccine is developed.

But a vaccine isn’t expected for perhaps 18 months, which has led to fears among many publicans that some will never again be able to open their doors.

One East Clare Publican believes that extraordinary measures are needed to protect their industry in these extraordinary times.

Gary Pepper, of Peppers in Feakle says it would be catastrophic for the industry if restrictions remain for a prolonged period.

The Chair of Clare VFI doesn’t see a workable solution where customers can visit pubs on a peacemeal basis, citing difficulties in meeting the costs of doing business.

Darragh McAllister, who’s also the President of Ennis Chamber says the Government needs to set out a road map for the businesses who were the first to close and will be the last to re-open.

Fiona Cahill, Clare FM, first for local news.