Publicans not optimistic ahead of today’s government announcement

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney publicans say they are not hopeful of being allowed open next Tuesday following comments made by the National Public Health Emergency Team this week.

Pubs that do not sell food have been told to stay closed since March 15 in an effort to stop the spread of the Coronavirus but their food-selling colleagues have been allowed trade since June 29.

It was hoped that ‘wet’ pubs would get a permit to reopen on August 7 but government officials delayed that plan until at least August 31 as they grew concerned at the rise in the number of  confirmed cases in the country.

A decision is expected today, Friday, on if pubs can re-open or not next Tuesday.

Local bar owner, John O’Shea, whose family operate the traditional Jack C’s on High St says he is not hopeful getting permission to re-open.

“I am ready to go,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I am not too optimistic. Ireland is the only country in Europe were bars remain closed. Some countries are fully open and others are allowed trade with restrictions.”

The Killarney publican was basing his comments of what acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said at an Oireachtas Covid-19 Committee meeting on Wednesday this week.

As of today, Friday, rural pubs have been closed for a total of 166 days.