Galway Bay FM Newsroom – Galway City and County has seen 16 pubs close their doors since the start of the pandemic with 456 pubs renewing their licences in September of this year.
That number is compared to 472 who renewed their licences in January 2020.
Nationally, 349 pubs have shut their doors since the pandemic began, according to trade representative bodies.
They’ve analysed figures from Revenue, and found 37 outlets shut in Cork since last March.
It’s the worst affected county followed by Donegal and Dublin with 33 each.
Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the VFI, says: “These new figures reveal Covid’s dramatic impact on the trade over the past 19 months. To lose 5% of pubs in such a short timeframe is unprecedented and underlines how the pub trade bore the brunt of pandemic restrictions.
“In light of recent speculation about delaying the ending of restrictions, the news that pubs are closing across the country will only heighten anxiety in the trade. Uncertainty is a key factor in why so many pubs have closed so Government must put an end to the crisis by announcing the easing of restrictions will proceed as planned.”
Donall O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the LVA, says: “Losing 349 pubs across the country indicates the magnitude of what’s happened to the pub trade since March 2020. These pubs closed even with the Government supports in place.
“We think the reopening of late night hospitality, the return of the bar counter, the end of mandatory table service and a resumption of normal trading hours should proceed next Friday. If access is limited to those who have been vaccinated there is no justification for not proceeding the easing of the rest of the restrictions.
“With more than 90% of the adult population vaccinated and vaccine passes likely to remain in place, if we can’t allow hospitality to trade relatively normally now then when will we ever be able to?
“Anticipation is high ahead of the lifting of 22nd October for the simple reason that publicans are desperate to get back to normal trading. Many pubs and other hospitality businesses have been hanging on for this moment and any further delays will be a step too far for some. The Government needs to recognise delays will push more businesses over the edge where they will join the 349 pubs that have already been lost during the course of the pandemic,” Mr. O’Keeffe concluded.
Seven day pub licence renewals by county: Jan 2020 v September 2021