A LEADING publican has caused a stir for suggesting that the sale of alcohol in shops should be banned in Ireland.
Padraig Cribben, head of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, who successfully lobbied for pubs serving food to be allowed to open in Phase 3 of the reopening of the country, appeared on Newstalk Breakfast yesterday where he made the controversial statement.
The planned reopening of all pubs across the country has been pushed back until at least 10 August, after a steady rise in coronavirus cases in the last two weeks.
The decision left pub owners and VFI members "gobsmacked", he told the show, as the rise in cases was "basically down to two things"-- travel from abroad and house parties.
"The real issue that we are seeing around the country is we are seeing house parties and we are actually seeing quite a growth in illegal shebeens growing around the country," he said.
"If the Government are really serious about tackling house parties, I think they have to look at whether they are going to allow alcohol to continue to be sold in supermarkets."
"I am asking that question because if the issue is around house parties and if the issue is around young people congregating, I am asking that question.
"If that is where the issue is emanating from, you have got to tackle where the issue is coming from."
When pressed by the host if he was calling for prohibition in Ireland, he confirmed that he was, and that the Government had set too high of a bar for pubs to reopen.
"What is going to be different this day three weeks [August 10th] that will give the Government the confidence to move forward?" he asked.
The number of people allowed to gather in an indoor setting has been reduced from 50 to 10, restricted to members from four households.
In Cork, a Garda Sergeant has urged people not to have parties as "all the guidelines can only be as good as the people's personal responsibility themselves."
The Government of South Africa have already banned the sale of alcohol for the duration of the coronavius pandemic in order to take pressure off the national healthcare system.