Vintners Chair calls for extra support for publicans

The Chairperson of the Roscommon Town and District branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland has called for an extension of supports for the sector to stave off inevitable closures.

Larry Brennan said it is hoped no further restrictions will be introduced but admitted that publicans feared the worst as Covid cases continue to rise across the country.

“Unfortunately, the worst predictions of this Omicron variant seem to be coming through and regarding recent closing time restrictions, the Government didn’t to have much of an option,” he said.

“With just under 1,000 people in hospital with the disease, we understand that Government can’t allow a situation to occur where people are deprived of adequate hospital care. I would, however, hope that there aren’t any further restrictions as this would be counterproductive”.

Mr. Brennan said it was now “more important than ever” that enhanced supports are provided following “an extremely tough two years”.

“Publicans by their very nature are resilient and I would urge them to hold firm. They are doing the best they can but there remains a lot of concern. I know we’ve heard this before, but hopefully this is the final wave of Covid-19 and we may still be able to salvage some sort of normality by the spring,” he said.

“Supports including an extended rates waiver, enhanced rates of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme and the reintroduction of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment at the top rate are now vital”.