Vintners renew call for May opening as Dublin pubs reach 400 days of closure

Vintners renew call for May opening as Dublin pubs reach 400 days of closure

The Licensed Vintners Association is calling for all pubs to be allowed to open from May 24 for outdoor service.

Vintners have made renewed calls for bars to be allowed to open in May as pubs in Dublin reach 400 days of closure.

Traditional pubs in the capital have been closed since March 15 last year, with Tuesday marking the unwelcome milestone.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which represents pubs in Dublin, is calling for all pubs to be allowed to open from May 24 for outdoor service.

The LVA is citing the North, where indoor service for all hospitality businesses commences on that date.

Vintners have previously claimed that it is “inevitable” that people will travel across the border to go to pubs if Irish pubs aren’t open at the same time.

Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the LVA, said pubs were the first sector to close and that the hospitality sector has been hit “particularly hard” during the pandemic and is urging publicans to contact their local representatives.

“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 are 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.” 

Mr O’Keeffe also called for members to “press for limited disparity between the reopening of hospitality” on both sides of the border.

“Any major gap will just see thousands of people travel across the border every week to enjoy pubs and restaurants.” 

Mr O Keeffe added that the LVA “see no justifiable reason for any section of hospitality to be favoured over others”.

The Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) has previously called on the Government to publish its plan to get the hospitality sector reopened.

Last week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the reopening of pubs was slated for July.

The Tánaiste said plans to allow hospitality, both indoor and outdoor, to re-open in June or July will be published by the end of the month.

He said he was “increasingly confident” that both indoor and outdoor dining will be possible by July.

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