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Early closing time ‘effectively a lockdown’ for many bars and restaurants

December 26th, 2021 7:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Customers at the Old Market Bar in Bandon, as Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced the curfew. (Photo: Denis Boyle)

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THERE are real fears that some bar and restaurants owners in West Cork will choose not to open in January as a result of the 8pm closing curfew.

Declan Coleman of the Old Market Bar & Bistro in Bandon said it’s ‘effectively a lockdown’ for many of those in the hospitality sector.

‘I’m glad I have my doors open for now and we have revised our opening hours for the Christmas period to take in this early closing time, but it’s very disappointing, especially during what should be a busy trading time,’ said Declan.

Cllr Danny Collins, who owns The Boston Bar in Bantry said he feels for the bars that don’t open during the day as they will only get two to three hours of trading now. ‘I got a lot of my stock in last week for Christmas and am wondering what will happen with it,’ said Cllr Collins.

His brother, TD Michael Collins (Ind) called on the Taoiseach to urgently recall the Dáil in order to debate the new restrictions. ‘Introducing such measures, after the Dáil has adjourned for the Christmas break, appears calculated and means the government is operating beyond its limits,’ said Deputy Collins.

Meanwhile, restaurant owners have been scrambling to amend opening hours and tidy up bookings since the announcement.

Monk’s Lane in Timoleague thanked those who messaged them with support and encouragement. They initially feared that they would be unable to justify opening at all over Christmas, but have decided to go ahead and open with revised opening hours.

And in Kinsale, The Supper Club confirmed it will remain open for Christmas, and has
revised its opening
hours and is contacting all those who have made bookings.

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