Collette welcomes pub re-openings but insists more support is needed

The head of the Vintners’ Federation in Louth has welcomed the news that pubs are to re-open on the 21st of September but warned the government that much more needs to be done to ensure livelihoods aren’t lost.
“We were kind of taking aback by the government’s complete u-turn on this issue and we are not really sure what brought it about. Was it our lobbying? Public pressure? We just don’t know. We are obviously very happy with the decision but there are still a myriad of issues that have to be dealt with by the government. The fact that customers can’t sit at the bar is a huge issue for many of the smaller pubs and I know that a lot of these pubs simply won’t be able to re-open under these new guidelines.
“We have been fighting tooth and nail for our pubs since March and to be honest we have been virtually ignored. We haven’t been invited to the table by government and we’ve had to send emails, letters and almost harrass our local councillors to get our voices heard. There is no point in being a keyboard warrior and sniping from the sidelines you have to fight for what you believe in and we will continue to do so. The top up to the restart grant offered by the government were nothing short of derisory and a lot more needs to be done to help an industry which is huge trouble. But as I said before the first thing is to re-open the pubs and then we can continue the fight. We are not being glib about the pandemic and we realise we have a role to play as well to keep everybody safe but we need help and it has to come soon.
“These one-size fits all guidelines will not work for everybody as we all come in different shapes and sizes. We are happy that the people are behind us and we look forward to being a part of the community once again but as I said there is still a lot of work needed to do by the government to ensure pubs get through this crisis,” stated Collette.

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