Pub trade facing 'decimation' if second lockdown hits, warns Longford publican

Local publican and customers rejoice as pubs reopen for first time in six months

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Andy Byrne

Andy Byrne pulling a pint alongside staff member Una Flynn

A Longford publican has spoken of his fears for the county’s licensed industry by warning half of licensed premises will remain closed if rising coronavirus cases brings about another lockdown.

 

Andy Byrne was speaking as pubs up and down the county opened their doors for the first time in six months.

Mr Byrne said it was incumbent on pub owners countrywide to ensure health and safety guidelines were adhered to in order to keep a recent upward trajectory in Covid-19 cases to a premium.

“That’s my fear,” he told the Leader. 

“If they (government) close the pubs again, there is a good chance half of them won’t open.

“If we have manners and everyone runs their businesses properly, there shouldn’t be an issue. 

“My concern is some people won’t and will flout the laws.”

The Leader popped inside the doors of the Ballymahon Street watering hole this afternoon and noticed how customers were all sitting at tables and keeping in line with social distancing protocols.

Agate Zaharevska, who was enjoying a friendly catch up with her friends, said in spite of concerns over a spike in Covid-19 cases nationally, being able to socialise again had been a long time in the making.

“It’s friendly and we do feel safe,” she said.

“It was a long six months but it is nice to see everyone again.”

For more on this story, see this week’s Longford Leader.