DISAPPOINTED: John C O’Shea, pictured with his mother Joan and Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney, is disappointed with the Level 3 restrictions. Photo: Michelle Crean

EXCLUSIVE

By Michelle Crean

 

Multiple Killarney businesses say they are devastated this week to close their doors just weeks after reopening to the public.

Monday night’s Government announcement that the country had to move into Level 3 restrictions to try to bring the COVID virus numbers down might just be the final straw for some businesses who are already struggling after a difficult lockdown.

Many local hotels, pubs and restaurants had no choice but to either close or switch to a take away service with some having the difficult choice of putting staff back on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) as they navigate the next three weeks uncertain that they will be allowed to reopen if COVID cases aren’t brought under control.

Jack C’s on High Street only reopened its doors two weeks ago. After making many safety changes to ensure social distancing could be properly adhered to, owner John C had to offer his regular customers their drinks outdoors.

However, he is lucky to have access to a laneway where a limited amount of customers can enjoy a drink.

“We were open two weeks and two days,” John C O’Shea from Jack C’s said.

“We didn’t know it was coming.”

He said that it is disheartening to once again to be in such a situation.

“It’s a bit sad around the streets and all the hotels are gone.”

He said they waited all summer to reopen but couldn’t because of the Government’s regulations.

“We’ve been ready to reopen our doors all summer but because of the idiotic €9 substantial meal rules we couldn’t. We have the laneway and the awnings have been up for two to three years. We have a wind breaker as well to cut the wind. 15 is all we can accommodate.”

For Emer Corridan, General Manager in the Cahernane House Hotel, who shut their doors this week, she said it’s another blow to businesses.

“We are just devastated. We closed the hotel Wednesday morning after breakfast so for Cahernane this means going from having enough level of business to keep 35 staff employed each week to only having a skeleton staff at the hotel for security. I hope there are measures in the budget to help both the business and also staff who have suffered another layoff.”