A LIMERICK pub owner has given fans a guided tour of the bar as he prepares to go against government rules by reopening this Monday.
The Irish government this week announced it was delaying the next phase of gradual reopenings in Ireland amid concerns over a potential second wave of coronavirus.
Pubs and other social venues had originally been set to reopen this coming Monday, July 20.
However, that date has now been pushed back to August 10 at the earliest, in a move widley condemned by the wider pub industry.
Several pub owners have already gone on the record to say they would be reopening this week, regardless of the change.
Chief among those dissenting voices is Gearoid Whelan, the owner of Whelan’s Bar in Limerick.
Mr. Whelan has been a vocal critic of the decision on social media, noting that while pubs have been ordered to close, airports have remained open throughout, despite the high number of cases of coronavirus linked to travel.
He is also accutely aware of several reports of American tourists in Ireland who are suspecting of flouting Ireland’s strict two-week quarantine rules on anyone entering the country.
“If a Texan can come into Ireland and go where he likes our door is open to our customers who we have served for almost 70 years,” he wrote on Twitter.
Beer garden in Whelans all set for Monday👍🏼 pic.twitter.com/BA68DYlXp1
— Gearoid Whelan (@whelansbar1) July 18, 2020
Now in the final stages of preparations for a planned reopening this coming Monday, Mr. Whelan has shared a video from inside Whelan’s Bar to show the various steps being taken to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
Showcased in a whistle stop tour around the bar, it offers a glimpse of the new beer garden that will host customers as well as the various safety signs and hand sanitiser stations available.
The seating throughout the pub, meanwhile, has been spread out to ensure social distancing rules are properly adhered to.
Whelan’s Pub in Maiden Street, Newcastle West, Limerick will open its doors again after four long months this coming Monday.
What happens next will be a source of much interest across Ireland and could have far reaching implications for the Irish government.