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Tag Archives: pubs

Clare publican: continuing restrictions will shut more bars

WHILE publicans had been hoping to see the end of a dark chapter for the sector on Friday, those hopes were dashed with news that some restrictions will be staying in place, potentially until February 2022. While normal opening hours can resume, from Friday there will still be a requirement for customers to have a Covid certificate, table service must remain in place with a maximum of ten adults per table, social distancing will remain, while collection of contact tracing information will continue. Face masks are required but can be removed for the consumption of food or drinks. Specific guidelines for nightclubs are to be made available. Publican Darragh McAllister is also President of business advocacy group Ennis Chamber. Following this week’s news that restrictions will be continuing, he said there was disappointment among his colleagues. “It is hugely disappointing, but I have to admit that because there have been so many false dawns there weren’t too many hopes raised. …

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High Court ruling offers “glimmer of hope” to publicans says Clare VFI chair

THE chair of Clare VFI has said a landmark High Court ruling offers a “glimmer of hope” to struggling publicans in the county whose doors have remained shut for almost a year because of Covid-19. The High Court has ruled that four pub owners are entitled to be compensated by FBD Insurance for the disruption their businesses suffered due to the pandemic. The outcome of the case affects claims made by more than 1,000 pubs and restaurants across the country. Clare VFI chair Darragh McAllister has urged publicans in the county to examine their own insurance policies and seek the advice of an independent assessor. The chairman described news of the ruling as “fantastic”, adding that the VFI “knew all along that FBD did owe those companies compensation”. “The question now is, number one, what kind of quantum will be involved, and also what other companies will have to pay out because it all comes down to the policy. There are …

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Publicans crave certainty in run up to crucial Christmas

WITH pubs closed again due to the Level 5 lockdown, the fear is some will never be able to reopen their doors, according to the Clare Vintners Association. Clare VFI chairman Darragh McAllister said it was a “kick in the guts” for those businesses that had spent a lot of time, effort and money during the first lockdown preparing for a chance to trade under new restrictions. He also raised fears of a rolling lockdown scenario and whether publicans would even get the badly needed boon of a window around Christmas to make up for lost trade during the year. “It’s very disappointing and it’s a real kick in the guts after such a short opening, “There was a lot of work done in the six months we were locked down to get ready for the restrictions after we reopened. People went to a lot of expense and trouble in anticipation of that. “We only had it for two weeks …

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Ann relishing the reopening of O’Neills

A VERY homely and comfortable bar, O’Neills in Newmarket on Fergus has been in Ann McNamara’s family since 1900. Having come through wars, recessions and storms over the years, Ann was determined that Covid-19 wouldn’t finish off the business. Not on her watch. ” I don’t know how many people used to ask will it open again, but I said that after 120 years in the family, I wasn’t going to be the one to close the doors. I do my best to accommodate our regulars, and that’s what I love to be able to do,” she said on Monday, one week on from its reopening after six months. Looking from her home across the road at the locked up pub was difficult, and she’s delighted to be back. “It was unbelievable, we are 120 years in business and for the first month or two it was a grand break, but after that…” As is the case with many rural …

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‘It’s great to be back’

NONE of the pubs in Tulla offer food, so last Monday afternoon was the first time anyone got to order a pint in the village since March. Declan Hogan has been working at The Powerhouse since it reopened at 4pm on Monday and he says things have been quite busy since then. “There were about a dozen people in before six o’clock and there would have been three to four dozen more over the rest of the night. We’d have had about 40 at one stage, we’d have capacity for 55 to 60,” he says. It was an exceptionally large crowd for a rural pub on a Monday night, as people were keen to have a drink after months without going to their local. There was also a fairly good Tuesday night, he said. “We had about a dozen. On a normal Tuesday night you might only have half that.” Declan is expecting quite a good weekend. “We are, between …

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Rural isolation fears over approach of winter in pandemic

RURAL isolation is emerging as a major concern across much of Clare as a direct consequence of the pandemic, with older people particularly affected. The ongoing closure of venues like pubs, as well as restrictions on social gatherings and attendance at sporting events, is said to be cutting off lifelines for many older people, many of whom are continuing to cocoon. “When you hear an older person saying that life doesn’t seem worth living any more, there’s something really wrong there,” said the Inagh native Niall Garvey, who is head of Muintir na Tíre. “I would say that, at the moment, the restrictions on pubs and matches are really big issues,” he said. “But, what I think is one of the biggest things is the fact that people are no longer calling on their neighbours. People are afraid to call in to see each other in the way they would have done before the pandemic.” Mr Garvey noted that during …

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Hopes new Garda powers will allow full pub re-opening

CLARE vintners are hopeful that enhanced powers for Gardaí to close pubs not complying with Covid-19 guidelines, will pave the way for the full reopening of their industry. According to the Clare Chairperson of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), the forthcoming enforcement powers, which were discussed in the Dáil on Wednesday, are cause for optimism that all pubs might be allowed to re-open in compliance with public health guidelines. “It’s only fair that those flouting the rules should be shut down,” said Darragh McAllister of Lucas’s Bar and Considines in Ennis. “What we are hoping is that tighter rules might allow those of us who run wet pubs to open. In the VFI, we have been seeking these powers from the very beginning because we see them as an indication that all pubs will be given the chance to open and operate responsibly.” Mr McAllister denied that the differential treatment of food pubs, which re-opened in June, had created …

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‘Fear and despair’ of Clare publicans as Covid closures continue

“FEAR and despair” is impacting Clare publicans’ mental health as the closure of pubs and uncertainty over their re-opening continues, Clare Vintners Federation of Ireland chairman Darragh McAllister told a meeting this week. The meeting of the Clare branch held at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis saw six of Clare’s Oireachtas members hear the concerns of the county’s publicans. The meeting comes a week after it was announced that the re-opening of pubs that don’t serve food been delayed until August 31 at the earliest. In attendance were Cathal Crowe TD, Michael McNamara TD, Violet Ann Wynne TD, Joe Carey TD and senators Timmy Dooley and Martin Conway and Mayor of Clare, Mary Howard with apologies from senator Róisín Garvey. At the meeting, which was limited to 50 attendees as per Covid-19 regulations, Mr McAllister, welcomed the presence of the Oireachtas members. In a wide-ranging address detailing the current state of the trade, Mr McAllister highlighted the many false …

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