Watch: Cork reacts to the lifting of restrictions

Irish Examiner reporter Maeve Lee spoke to the people of Cork to find out their reaction to the lifting of restrictions
Watch: Cork reacts to the lifting of restrictions

Marie Doyle, Ballyvolane is looking forward to being able to go to the pub with friends for a few drinks. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

There was a buzz in Cork city today ahead of the official announcement of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Many said they are feeling optimistic about a return to some kind of normality and in particular the ending of the 8pm closing time for hospitality.

Students Rachel Flanagan and Nicola Scanlon from Cobh said they are looking forward to experiencing Cork's nightlife, having missed out on the typical student nights out.

While third-year student Nicola experienced a bit of nightlife in her first year of college, Rachel is excited to finally experience it in her second year.

"I got a bit of nightlife and stuff... but she didn't really at all," said Nicola.

"We're getting our results as well on Wednesday so hopefully we can have a good night now," she added.

27-year-old Shane O’Sullivan from Blackrock said he feels it is “about time” for the lifting of the restrictions but added that there are other issues that the government needs to put their minds to.

“Especially a lot of issues with mental health because of the pandemic from a lot of people and even from the housing crisis at the moment- they really need to press on issues like that as well,” he said.

Mr O’Sullivan would also be looking forward to longer opening times for hospitality, but he does not think it is the “most pressing issue at the moment”.

“I think they need to look into a lot more resources for younger people,” he added.

Marie Doyle from Ballyvolane also said she feels it is the right time to ease restrictions.

“I don’t know whether I have blinkers on our not, but I think the cases are going down.

I think it’s the right time. For everybody- for our mental health and everything, I just think it is right.

Being able to go to the pub with friends for a few drinks is something she would also be looking forward to.

“I’m just looking forward to it being all over, to be honest.”

 Marie Doyle, Ballyvolane. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Marie Doyle, Ballyvolane. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Emily Phipps from Co Laois works in a bar and a longer opening time would mean working for more than a few hours a day.

“I get my job back basically,” she said.

“It’s been really, really tough for the last few weeks.” 

She said she would be happy to see hospitality open for longer again and for the chance to be at the other end of the bar too.

“More excited about having money,” she laughed. “But I’m looking forward to going out. I don’t go out much but it is nice to have the option.”

Health officials last night recommended the ending of most Covid-19 restrictions in the coming days.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to deliver an address to the nation around 6pm.

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