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LVA slams government for 'empty gestures' and 'hollow words'

By Sarah Finnan

September 15, 2020 at 2:05pm

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The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) has reacted to the news that Dublin pubs will not be allowed to reopen on September 21 as initially expected, labelling the decision 'unfair and unjustified'.

Government today confirmed the news that Dublin pubs will not be allowed to reopen next week as previously planned. The fourth time that the reopening of non-food pubs has been postponed in the capital, publicans have been left reeling at the announcement with some claiming that 'it's nothing short of contempt' at this stage.

Exactly six months on since pubs across Ireland first closed their doors by government order back in March, LVA officials have described the decision to further delay the reopening of pubs in the capital as being an 'empty gesture, backed by hollow words'.

Commenting on the government's much-anticipated Living with Covid plan, Chief Executive of the LVA, Donall O'Keeffe said:

'This arbitrary separation of wet pubs from pubs serving food is completely unfair and unjustified. It is an empty gesture that will make zero impact on reducing the level of infection we are currently experiencing in Dublin.'

Adding that 'pubs are paying the price for the repeated shortfalls in the Government’s capacity to handle this crisis', Mr O'Keefe went on to add:

'This has all the hallmarks of wanting to be seen to take action when in reality it does nothing to address the current problem. But it does have the impact of further penalising publicans, staff, suppliers and all their families. That is the one actual outcome that will come from this decision.'

Other pubs around the country have sympathised with their Dublin counterparts with staff at Mellett's Emporium in Mayo describing it as a 'cruel and nonsensical move by government'.

Header image via Shutterstock

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