Two thirds of pubs to go out of business by end of year, survey says

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Digital Desk staff

Two thirds of Ireland's pubs will go out of business by the new year, according to a new survey of pub owners.

The poll by the Vintners Federation of Ireland found that two thirds of publicans who are not allowed to open their doors believe they will go out of business by January 2021, based on current conditions.

It also found that 82 per cent of pub owners no longer support the Government.

The group says the sector now needs “support, not sympathy” from the Government this week, as it decides whether or not to allow 3,500 pubs still closed across the country to reopen on August 31st.

The reopening of wet pubs that do not serve food has already been delayed twice, amid concerns about their potential role in the spread of Covid-19.

The survey found that 96 per cent of publicans believe the Government does not have a plan that will allow non-food pubs to reopen while the crisis persists.

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In light of the public health conditions, it found that most in the industry believe the reopening will be delayed for a third time.

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The focus is now on what plan will be brought forward by Government in order to support pubs closed by their order.

Almost half of the pubs still closed have accrued debts of €16,000 or more since the lockdown began, according to the survey.

It says that one in five of those pubs have accumulated debts of almost €30,000 in the period their doors have stayed closed.

It also found that 92 per cent of publicans believe that pubs have been scapegoated during the Covid-19 crisis.

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