Dublin gym forced to close after attempt to keep fitness industry open despite restrictions

Gyms have been forced to close under Level 5 restrictions.
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Muireann Duffy

A gym owner who attempted to keep his business open during lockdown has been forced to close after Gardaí visited his premises.

Simon Murphy, from Westside Gym in Blanchardstown, had called on other gym owners to keep their outlets open, similar to those in Liverpool during the highest level of restrictions.

However, in a video posted to the gym's Instagram page, Mr Murphy said he will be closing the premises following two visits from gardaí.

He said the visits were to be expected after the publicity he had tried to amass to encourage other gyms to join him in staying open, but added: "Fighting this battle by ourselves, paying fine after fine- it doesn't make sense to do so, not by ourselves and not when we don't have the support of our own industry."


The caption of the post read: "We are so so sorry as we feel we are letting you all down. We tried our absolute best today and we are devastated that's its come to this. The pressure that has been put on us is immense and we did not have the strength in numbers."

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Mr Murphy said that in Liverpool, 75 per cent of gyms had remained open despite restrictions, adding that he was "at a low point" to see that other businesses in the sector did not support his efforts to stay open.

"There's no point fighting for a fitness industry that won't fight with us and I say all that with real deep regret. I hope to be able to welcome you all back to Westside when they say it's safe for us to do so."

As part of Level 5 restrictions, all non-essential businesses must close, including gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres.

Gardaí may issue fines and order a business to close if they find them in breach of the public health guidelines.

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