“Ireland’s pubs have endured the longest lockdown in the EU. While we acknowledge the government’s support for so-called ‘wet’ pubs outside Dublin and are relieved that they will be permitted to reopen next Monday after six months of closure, we still have grave concerns for those left behind today.
“Dublin publicans now face weeks and possibly months of additional uncertainty, with no indication of when they will be allowed to begin serving customers again. This uncertainty jeopardises hundreds of businesses and thousands of jobs, not just in the pub trade, but in the broader drinks and hospitality industry.
“Dublin pubs must be prioritised and reopened at the next review date in three weeks’ time. Any further delay will prove detrimental to the future of the industry.
“Recovery thereafter, will be a long process, and the government needs to start thinking long term with a support strategy of practical measures. Action must be taken this year, in time for the Budget. 2021 will be too late.
“A 15% reduction in Ireland’s excise tax on alcohol, which is currently the second highest in the EU, will support recovery in the pub and wider drinks and hospitality trade by putting more money back in the hands of business owners, where it can be re-invested in jobs, stock, and other regular expenditure.
“Reopening is not enough. We must ensure that the industry now has the support needed to fully recover and maintain jobs.”