Two-tier re-opening of hospitality sector cannot happen again, says Longford Senator

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Micheal Carrigy

Fine Gael Senator Micheal Carrigy

Longford Senator Micheál Carrigy, Fine Gael Seanad spokesperson for Arts, Media, Sports and Tourism Senator Micheal Carrigy has called on Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD to ensure ‘that when the hospitality sector is re-opened we cannot have a two- tier system’.

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Carrigy said “I am against a two-tier system for re-opening our hospitality sector like what happened last year. All should open together under strict guidelines. There should be no difference between dry pubs, wet pubs or restaurants / hotels serving food and drink. While these businesses are closed, we have allowed the large multiples to advertise and sell alcohol below cost.”

He continued, “We need only look at the national newspapers every weekend and days leading up to each Bank Holiday where there are full page advertisements for cheap alcohol. We are making it cheap to get drunk and have allowed an underground drinking culture to develop. The Minimum Price Alcohol Bill needs to be introduced for the health and wellbeing of our younger generation, but also for the future of the hospitality industry.”

Senator Carrigy concluded, “Is there a representative from the pub or restaurant sector on the tourism recovery oversight group or on the boards of Fáilte Ireland or Tourism Ireland? The stay and spend scheme or an amended version, needs to be put in place for the fourth quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.”