Pubs across Ireland shut their doors on the 15th of March last year and Dublin’s traditional pubs have been prevented from opening for a single day since that date. They represent one-third of the Capital’s pubs and during this period the Republic of Ireland has experienced the most severe hospitality closure in Europe.
The LVA has urged publicans across Dublin to mark the day by contacting their local political representatives and urging them to ensure all pubs – traditional and gastro – as well as other hospitality venues can start providing outdoor service from the week beginning the 24th of May. Outdoor activity is widely acknowledged as being relatively safe and the LVA believes that the end of May represents a reasonable timeframe for this activity to recommence.
Other points the LVA has asked publicans to highlight:
- the reopening in Northern Ireland and Britain will see all types of hospitality venue treated the same
- indoor service for all hospitality businesses in Northern Ireland commences on the 24th of May, the same day as the LVA proposes that outdoor service resume in the Republic
- any long delays between the reopening of hospitality in Northern Ireland and the Republic will inevitably lead to thousands of people crossing the Border every week to make use of pubs and restaurants there
- the risk profile for drinking or dining indoors is the same for all forms of hospitality venue – whether it’s in traditional pubs, gastropubs, restaurants or hotels
- if hotels are to reopen in June, they’ll have to be able to provide indoor service for their guests. At that time indoor service across all forms of hospitality should resume
- any move to advance the reopening of certain sections of hospitality over others will be regarded as a discriminatory choice made by Government which will not be accepted
- all hospitality should ‘Open Together’.
“It’s hard to believe that it’s now 400 days since pubs across Dublin and the rest of the country closed their doors,” said LVA Chief Executive Donall O’Keeffe, adding, “Even within our industry some have struggled more than others. Traditional pubs across the country have had it harder than other forms of hospitality and the traditional pubs in Dublin were even more marginalised as they haven’t opened their doors for the last 400 days and counting.
“We believe this unjust segmentation has to stop. As we reach this unfortunate milestone we’re launching a call to action and urging all our members to contact their political representatives.
“They should press for the reopening of the hospitality sector to begin with outdoor service for traditional pubs, gastropubs, restaurants and hotels from late May. This matches up with the timeframe outlined by the National Public Health Emergency Team for social contact to remain unchanged and also for the further rollout of vaccines.
“We also are encouraging our members to press for limited disparity between the reopening of hospitality in Northern Ireland and the Republic.
“Our members should also highlight that the risk profile is the same for indoor hospitality service in all venues – traditional pubs, gastropubs, restaurants and hotels. With hotels expected to reopen in June, all forms of hospitality should be allowed to resume indoor service from that point, especially with the rollout of the vaccine due to have reached 80% of the adult population that month.
“We see no justifiable reason for any section of hospitality to be favoured over others. On the day Dublin’s traditional pubs reach 400 consecutive days of closure the tiered treatment needs to end,” he concluded.