21 Aug Time for clarity required by Mayo publicans – Deputy Dillon
- Mayo publicans in dire plight as the majority now require significant Govt. support;
- Hospitality sector in Mayo severely limited as pubs continue to remain closed;
- Greater engagement and agreed roadmap for reopening required from Govt.
Fine Gael TD, Alan Dillon, has met with a range of Mayo publicans to hear the plight of those that have yet to reopen. As part of the #SupportNotSympathy campaign, it highlights that pubs were the first sector in the economy to close and now will be the last to reopen.
Deputy Dillon said: “I raise this issue as I am seeing and hearing firsthand the human side of family businesses being closed for over five months now. These are businesses where oftentimes it is a true family operation with no other sources of income spanning three family generations in some cases. Some are at their wit’s end between being fearful for their employees, as well as the feasibility of their business and whether they will even be allowed to reopen before it is too late. The fact that the sector has been divided between some reopening while the majority remain closed has not helped the situation.”
“There is an overwhelming willingness amongst publicans to act responsibility if permitted to reopen. Many pubs have already made significant investments in personal protection equipment and sanitary measures on the basis that they would have reopened by now, which used up the cash reserves typically held by the business. Our hospitality sector in Mayo has been incredibly resilient, but it is operating on a limited capacity as only a small number of food-serving pubs have reopened with many operating at full capacity. It makes more sense to have smaller numbers of patrons spread out over a larger number of venues.”
Deputy Dillon concluded: “In recent months, we have restarted our economy and the vast majority of businesses are up and running albeit in different circumstances. I recognize the importance of schools returning in the near future and that is a priority for many, but one of the final hurdles in normalising our economy will be the reopening of pubs. At a minimum, there needs to be clarity on when they will reopen and if that is not forthcoming, there needs to be a comprehensive and significant support package to ensure they have the chance to reopen. I have raised the matter with my Government colleagues and will be actively seeking their support on this matter.