A Cork publican has apologised after he was caught “insensitively bragging” about Covid-19 supports and claiming he wanted the pandemic to go on for "another 10 years".
Tony Campion, owner of The Silver Key in Ballinlough, was “surreptitiously” filmed saying he hopes the pandemic “goes on for another 10 years" so he can afford a “place in Barbados.”
The publican also bragged about the fact he has 24 fewer staff members since the onset of the pandemic, meaning he pays out less in wages.
"My payroll is about €18,500 per week, it was about €32,000 a week.”
“And the Irish government gives me 15,000 dollars back every week in a government subsidy".
Mr Campion has since apologised for his remarks in a post on the bar and restaurant's Facebook page.
In the post, addressed to his customers, he wrote “they say that when drink is in, sense is out and boy has this wise old phrase echoed ever so loudly for me over the past few days.”
Mr Campion admitted he “insensitively bragged about payments relating to Covid” in the video, but said at the time he believed it to be “a bit of inebriated banter among friends.”
“Unbeknown to me, however, was that my bravado was being surreptitiously filmed without my consent and that the video would then be later used online as a vehicle to publicly embarrass, humiliate and in some cases, abuse and threaten me.”
Mr Campion said what he said was “wrong” and he is “sorry for it.”
However, he added he has been ”under a lot of anxiety and stress” and “letting off steam like this was one of my ways of coping with it.”
He concluded by saying he understands many people have “also suffered terribly” during the pandemic and he wholeheartedly apologises for any upset caused by his comments.