Local publicans claim government allowing unfair playing pitch for struggling industry

Local publicans say they are shocked and disappointed after the government announced that phase 4 will be pushed back again.

Pubs that don’t serve food will not now be able to open until August 31st at the earliest and a financial support package for the industry is now being considered.

The Government hasn’t officially ruled out reopening pubs on a regional basis but Minister Stephen Donnelly says localised re-openings are not advised for now.

John Duignan is the proprietor of the Tally Ho pub in Longford which does not serve food.

Many publicans have invested time and money in preparing their premises for reopening on August 10th and the Longford owner says he had no problem with the original opening timeline.

However, he says they are now facing an unfair playing field, with certain publicans abusing the system.