Eamon Ryan believes pubs will reopen this year

Eamon Ryan believes pubs will reopen this year
Eamon Ryan. Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

The Leader of the Green Party believes pubs will reopen this year.

It comes after the Taoiseach said he could not guarantee they would be able to resume trading before the new year.

The reopening of pubs that do not serve food has been delayed again - until August 31 at the earliest.

Mr Martin said the Government’s decision last month not to open pubs, nightclubs, and casinos proved to be right as the number of Covid-19 cases has steadily risen.  

The five-day average of cases is now over 45, having been as low as 6.4 in the last week of July.

A financial support package for the pubs is being considered by Government.

Minister Eamon Ryan does not think the restriction will remain in place long-term.

When asked about the possibility of pubs not opening again this year, Mr Ryan said he wouldn’t agree with that, but added it depends what happens with theirs and the medical advice.

He told Newstalk Breakfast: “We will have to manage it in a way that will be reacting more to cluster to try and dampen it down when it does arise. And make sure that normal life keeps going.

I don’t see an ongoing restriction to certain areas being likely, I think it’s a more short term phenomenon.

Mr Ryan said there was huge sympathy towards publicans but the Government had to heed the public health advice yesterday.

He said the Acting Chief Medical Officer told Cabinet that “it’s on a knife-edge and we have to be careful. And the Government heeded that.”

The latest postponement represents a second false start for thousands of publicans, who were due to reopen initially on July 20, and then August 10, and are now heading into their sixth month of being closed.

Bantry publican Danny Collins said thousands of publicans were left “reeling” by the Government’s “nanny State” decision to prevent pubs from reopening when so many other businesses were allowed to trade.

The owner of the Boston Bar said he had hoped pubs could reopen next week, and was “shocked” and “in despair” by the decision.

He lashed out at the Government and the Taoiseach for failing to support vintners, who had already been hit by the smoking ban and drink-driving laws.

- additional reporting by Paul Hosford and Maresa Fagan

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