Pubs being treated as political scapegoats and today’s decision will likely be the final call for many Dublin businesses – Drinks Ireland

Monday, 21 September 2020

Pubs being treated as political scapegoats and today’s decision will likely be the final call for many Dublin businesses – Drinks Ireland

Drinks Ireland says decision by Cabinet to essentially close Dublin’s hospitality sector is:
    Ineffective – the major increase in Covid cases not linked to hospitality sector, pubs are regulated environments
    Disproportionate – out of step with the rest of the EU and the country
    Unfair – hospitality sector already on its knees, pubs that do not serve food haven’t even been given the chance to reopen

18th September 2020 - The decision to essentially shut down Dublin’s hospitality sector will be hugely damaging to the economy both in the city and the country and will be the final blow for many businesses already struggling to stay afloat, according to Drinks Ireland, which represents Ireland’s drinks suppliers.

Following the announcement this evening, Drinks Ireland says that the decision puts Dublin completely out of step with the rest of the country and also countries across the EU, where the hospitality sector has reopened, albeit with restrictions. Across many of these countries there have been targeted interventions to manage an increase in cases, rather than moves to shut down an entire industry.

Drinks Ireland points out that pubs, and the wider hospitality sector, are regulated environments, that have and would continue to play their part in preventing the spread of Covid-19. The recent increase in Covid-19 cases in Ireland has not been linked to the sector. And Dublin’s wet pubs haven’t even been given the chance to reopen.

It also says that the hospitality sector is vital for the economy of the city and the country, providing employment opportunities for young people. It can play a crucial role in the economic recovery from Covid-19, as it did during the recovery of the last economic crisis, when it accounted for one in every seven jobs created. This will not be the case if many of these businesses are forced to close forever.

According to Drinks Ireland, the decision also poses a major threat to drinks suppliers. As a whole, Ireland’s hospitality industry purchases approximately €1 billion from domestic food and drink suppliers every year.

Patricia Callan, Director of Drinks Ireland said:

“The hospitality sector should have been allowed to stay open in Dublin, or in the case of wet pubs reopen in a safe and sustainable manner. The Government must stop unfairly targeting an entire industry that is already on its knees, treating the sector as a political scapegoat.

“This closure impacts not only pubs, but also drinks suppliers. Beer and cider in particular cannot be kept in storage for lengthy periods as both will go off. For Dublin’s wet pubs, this is now the fourth time new product has been brewed and delivered in kegs to Dublin pubs, to then not be used.

“For the pubs that serve food that are going to close, it will mean a huge amount of product will no longer be used and will have to be collected, which is a very costly process.

“Across Europe, the hospitality sector has reopened with restrictions, including in countries with a higher Covid-19 incidence rate. We see that these countries are managing hotspots with targeted measures that do not mean a total closure of a vital sector and economic diver.”