Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has suggested that those running rural pubs are "afraid to open" due to scenes of crowds gathering in Dublin over the weekend.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk, Healy-Rae suggested that there could be different rules for pubs in urban and rural areas, referencing the crowds that gathered with an apparent lack of social distancing in Dublin city centre over the weekend.
He said: "If you were a small publican in a rural location who was desperately looking forward to turning on the light, maybe lighting a little fire in the corner and dusting down the cobwebs and opening the doors. They were looking forward to that and now they are afraid."
Healy-Rae added that "They are genuinely afraid that because of what happened in Dublin and because there was so many people out on the streets and they were nearly up on top of each other’s backs, that we are going to pay a high price for that and we don’t want that to happen."
Pubs that serve food are currently permitted to open nationwide, with a number of provisions in place, with pubs that don't provide an eating option set to follow on July 20. However, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that this date could be delayed if rules are not adhered to.