Oh Pubs, Where Art Thou?
Our beloved pubs won't open for another three weeks, according to NPHET and the FFG government.
Unopened kegs across the country scream out in exasperation. The bubbly crispy summer pint seems to not exist in 2020. Vinters across Ireland are growing more and more annoyed with the constant delays made by an unorganized at the best of times Irish government.
Mellets Emporium of Swinford, County Mayo has been operating for 200 years. When they heard their beloved local pub would open on the 20th of July they spent thousands on screens, disinfectants, and screens to ensure that they could operate fully within the given health and safety standards. The opening was delayed to the 10th of August by the government in cruel fashion with most vintners having to watch the Six One news on RTÉ to find out their devastating news.
This happened again just yesterday upon writing with the pubs being told to remain closed until September. The Summer of 2020 does not exist, there is no craic, just coronavirus. There is no commerce in the vintner association which will most likely mean pubs around the country will have to remain shut forever.
Ireland from the very beginning has lead by example to its UK counterparts with regard to coronavirus restrictions but now we're taking huge economic tolls by our unwillingness to open up our economy. People will lose their jobs, people will lose their houses and people will lose their communities.
Pubs in rural Ireland has been the backbone for many rural communities. You would usually find the locals down there during the weekend to celebrate a GAA match or christening that had just occurred. During the week it would be a communal hub for people to talk and to meet. A call to the olden days where people formed tight-knit communities from face-to-face communication and not over the phone.
Pubs in Dublin are less affected by their willingness to serve food and jack up the prices. A visitor to such "Gastro-Pubs" would have to avail of a bowl of chicken wings worth ten euro and then their drinks. As soon as your hour and a half are up you're booted out the door for more customers to come in and avail of the overpriced hospitality. Dublin "restaurants" are loving this. Not only are they jacking up the prices on food but also on their drinks. A whiskey-ginger ale will set you back eight euro with mixers priced at 2.50 a small bottle.
What the government doesn't see is that limiting pubs to open up as restaurants cause them to annihilate their customers with obscene prices as there is no alternative or competition. The fact that "liquid" pubs cannot open because they cannot serve food is an absurd rule that should not apply. Now what is seen in the hospitality sector is an imbalance between different pubs. Some are adapting and serving food and others are falling by the wayside.
Ireland is a country which is measured on economic power, if everything is closed for too long we will have an insufferable recession which is not long after the one in 2008. We cannot simply wait for a zero-case scenario, that ship sailed in May when we decided to open up despite our new case being single digits for multiple days.
All we can do is put our face mask on and get our local economy back into action again!