John Harney outside his public house in Clerihan
County Tipperary publican John Harney has called time on inconsistent restrictions as he plans to reopen his public house in Ballyclerihan, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary on June 29th ahead of the proposed date for reopening public houses set by the government.
Harney’s Final Furlong is situated in the village of Ballyclerihan, 9km from Clonmel where John and his wife Siobhan revamped and opened their pub in July 2018. The pub has been closed since March 15th with the proposed date for reopening on August 10th as part of Phase 5 of the Government’s roadmap to reopening the country.
Mr. Harney said “I sat at home last night and watched the news and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Liz Canavan made no reference to the thousands of people who marched for Black Lives Matter in Dublin on Bank Holiday Monday with little or no social distancing as she spoke to the nation like we were all born yesterday, praising our efforts. Meanwhile, Dr. Tony Holohan wh en questioned if participants should self-isolate following the demonstration, he confirmed the disease and transmission level is at a point where public health advice is sufficient and if people have been at events this weekend and experience symptoms just speak to your GP, so I have had enough. The people of this country have done an amazing job and flattened the curve and it’s time we all got back to work and embrace this new normal. My pub will open on the 29th of June and I hope other publicans will join me. Harney’s Final Furlong is more than capable of opening and serving our loyal customers in a safe manner with ample indoor space and outdoor seating facilities.”
The well-known bookmaker turned publican commented on his frustration stating “I have adhered to all the advice personally, 2km, 5km etc. I cancelled all live music and parties at the pub prior to the mandatory closing in the early stages of the pandemic, however, I feel that the proposed reopening guidelines are completely unjust, my pub is bigger than many of the restaurants nationwide that are set to open on June 29th. We are happy that we can implement social distancing and provide a safe service to our customers and I cannot fathom how the guidelines are industry-specific rather than venue appropriate. I have been in business all my life and it simply makes no sense at all and quite frankly I’ve had enough.” he said.