Pubs in Ireland to protest reopening delay as they accuse Irish government of treating them 'like dirt'
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Pubs in Ireland to protest reopening delay as they accuse Irish government of treating them 'like dirt'

PUBLICANS in Ireland are planning to protest the government's decision to delay the move to Phase Four of the reopening plan by another three weeks.

Pubs unable to serve food to customers will have to wait until August 31 at the very earliest to reopen having spent the best part of five months closed.

In a bid to overturn the decision, pub owners up and down the country are planning to organise a mass protest.

The government has been accused of treating pubs "like dirt" and causing havoc to an industry which is already on its knees thanks to the coronavirus crisis.

Many have claimed that they're being unfairly blamed for a recent rise in Covid-19 cases, and that treating all pubs in all areas of the country in the same will lead to mass closures and job losses.

"What they're doing is destroying our livelihoods," said William Clynch, owner of the Moone High Cross Inn in Co. Kildare.

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"We're not really sure what the government based their decision on. You can't really compare a rural pub to a bar or restaurant in Europe," he added.

"We're being treated like dirt, there's no question about it," Tom Dunbar of Dunbar's in Ferns in Co. Wicklow said.

"You feel like you're being kicked about like a football. We're being used by the government to frighten."

Mr Dunbar went on to question the hypocrisy of the fact that a customer of his could jet off to Greece tomorrow and drink until his heart's content, but wouldn't be allowed to pop into the local pub for as much as a packet of crisps.

"At this stage you nearly feel like giving up, that's the truth. After 50 years, I've never been as downbeat and depressed," he added.