The Tánaiste has said he can’t guarantee pubs will be able to open without serving food on August 10th.
It comes after a decision not to allow them to open on Monday, with a review to happen in three weeks.
Leo Varadkar has acknowledged it’s a hammer blow for publicans.
But former Vintners President Gerry Rafter from Rafter Dempsey’s in Kilkenny says it’s been incredibly cruel for the publicans who were trying to prepare for reopening next week, and are now put back in limbo:
“It’s a total joke to think you can set up a business again in less than one week. A lot of publicans would have got stock in and got staff ready to start, on the expectation of reopening next Monday. And then to have the carpet pulled out beneath their feet yesterday evening was hugely demoralising. I would imagine for a lot of smaller operators around the country it will put sustainability in jeopardy”.