Extension expected given surge in cases says Tipp publican but still a 'hammer blow'

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Eddie Kendrick of The Abbey Tavern in Cahir

Eddie Kendrick of The Abbey Tavern in Cahir says the lockdown in March was a shock and very difficult for publicans but the recent extension of Phase 3 was “almost expected with the sudden rise in Covid cases last week”.

He said: “It still felt like a hammer blow that it was extended as so much work had already been put into the premises to prepare it for the next phase and we have already lost so much income this year.

“As publicans you only realise when the pub is actually closed the importance of that human connection and social aspect for some regulars and how much it affects us all. People are going to meet and have a drink anyway so it is better that they do so in a controlled environment. We will open again but the pubs will not see a profit for at least a year or more.”

Meanwhile, Tom and Marie Carroll of The Hill Inn said: “The lockdown has been devastating financially and we will probably never recover completely.

"Lockdown happened at the start of the busiest time of the year for publicans, we missed out on St Patrick’s Day, Easter, Communions and Confirmations, all planned parties were cancelled and now summer has passed us by too. But there are also some rural pubs that are much worse off than we are.

“We have completely revamped the premises but with the current rise in Covid cases when will we see the benefit? Lots of our regulars are on their own and they looked forward to the company and chat with their pint, we have kept in touch with a few to show our support but lockdown has affected so many people in different ways.

"Uncontrolled house parties are taking place everywhere; the pub with all Covid safety measures in place is definitely a much safer option. The future is not looking good at the moment, but we will open again and hopefully very soon."