Well known Longford businessman Andrew Reynolds has backed calls for financial support for rural publicans who have suffered what he calls “catastrophic losses” in the wake of “the global pandemic that has swept across our country and throughout the world.”
Referring to recent appeals by many local publicans who are struggling to survive throughout this predicament and “having personally heard testimonies from business associates I know who have told me they will not be able to open again as a result of the crisis,” Mr Reynolds said that the lack of government funding for pubs in rural Ireland may well mean the end of social interaction for those who most depend on it in the local community.
“For many the local pub is the only means of social interaction and the only time that people get to meet for a chat and such occasions play a major part in battling the scourge of loneliness, isolation and mental health in our communities and whilst there are obvious risks with the presence of Covid-19 in our homes and in our towns and villages.
Our pubs and hostilery owners have been more than willing to make the specific changes and steps necessary in order to meet the health and safety demands required to deal with the ongoing crisis.
However business owners do need some clarity and more support to do so and I am therefore calling for same as a matter of urgency before we lose both such crucial and cultural aspects of our community as well as meeting the vital needs of the most vulnerable in our towns and villages which are are at risk of being lost in the midst of this ongoing battle.”