It has been reported that around 1,000 of the 7,000 pubs in Ireland are ordering kegs from Diageo for take away pints.
A growing number of publicans are resorting to off-sales of drinks to get them through these tough restrictions imposed on their sector.
According to sources, the number of publicans ordering kegs for take out drinks is “1,000 and growing”. This was after the Government abandoned attempts to ban the sale of take away pints.
“This is where it’s at”, one source said. “More than one in seven pubs are ordering kegs from Diageo, people buying the alcohol and drinking it down the road with no toilets”.
“An Irish solution to an Irish problem”
In January, the Government had said to “forget about takeaway pints”. But they are now back on the menu for publicans in Ireland.
On Thursday, the Government are to make an announcement regarding the plan for re-opening the country across the Summer. Publicans have also urged the Government to re-open all forms of hospitality including gastropubs, restaurants and hotels.
But after being shut for 14 months, publicans are not holding out much hope.
One source said, “It’s all an Irish solution to an Irish problem, with the usual mess that leaves”.
“No roadmap at all” for pubs
“There’s no roadmap or path at all”, said Ronan Lynch who owns the Swan bar in Dublin’s city centre.
Lynch, whose bar is not selling take away pints commented further, “The obvious move is to open outdoor hospitality. Sit and enjoy a drink in a controlled environment with the necessary facilities with trained staff”.
Lynch also said, “But this government does not want to acknowledge the pub business, they don’t mention bars, would rather have people in an outdoor scenario, drinking in uncontrolled environment. I’m licences to sell alcohol and I can’t sell it”.
Lynch also accused the Government of being unable to make decisions and said that “they run a mile from anything to do with hospitality”.
“They’ve had one year to address this and they haven’t. They’re afraid. They can’t make decisions”.
Ronan Lynch also urged the Taoiseach to “start listening to people in industry because he’s not listening. He chooses not to. I know the pub business inside out, he’s a politician and he doesn’t”.
He also added, “If he doesn’t have an affinity with pubs that’s fine, but if I don’t know something about refrigeration I don’t make assumptions about it, I bring someone in who does know and can give me an insight on how best to manage it. He’s not dealing with us at all”.