Cork South West Independent TD Michael Collins is calling for pubs to be distinguished from nightclubs in the next phase of the re-opening up of the country, which had been expected on August 10th, but is now deferred.
Deputy Collins said it was outrageous that rural pubs across the country are being tied in with nightclubs for re-opening.
‘They have to be split up immediately and it’s outrageous that they are even put together as they are not similar and there is just no joined up thinking here,’ said Deputy Collins.
‘I also think that pubs not serving food should have opened at the same time as those that do serve back on June 29th and if that had happened it would at least have stopped the increasing number of illegal drinking sheds and shebeens as well as the numerous house parties that have popping up across West Cork during the lockdown.’
As well as sending the trade into the black market he said it was against all Covid-19 guidelines.
‘These places are not adhering to social distancing or any Covid-19 guidelines for that matter, with many illegal operations selling alcohol without a licence.
‘Your local publican does his or her best with the control of their premises but there is no control with these drinking sheds or the house parties.’
He said that this is a continuation of the previous government’s attitude towards ‘finishing off’ pubs in rural areas for good.
A recent house party held in Timoleague led to a Covid-19 scare across West Cork after one party-goer tested positive for the virus. It led to several GAA clubs, including Argideen Rangers, St Oliver Plunkett’s and Ballinascarthy, suspending club activity because players had been in contact with the person who was positive for Covid-19.