Over 100 pubs throughout Donegal may go to the wall due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and even those who will attempt to reopen will be out thousands of euro converting their premises to new social distancing standards.
That was the stark picture painted by publican, treasurer of the Donegal branch of the Vintners Federation of Ireland, and Fine Gael councillor, Martin Harley.
He predicted Tuesday's news of no reopening next Monday, as originally thought, effectively meant pubs would be among the last businesses to reopen when Covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.
Cllr Harley, who is a publican of 30-years standing, is currently renovating his Ballybofey pub, ‘Cheers’ to comply with new regulations.
He fears irreparable damage has already been done to the pubs in Donegal and means last orders for many of his colleagues in the hospitality industry.
He revealed that the whole conversation is not about getting pubs open, it’s about the number of people employed in the industry and even at that he felt some would not be ready to get back into business until 2021.
“You can see just how important the industry is with over 365 pubs in Donegal employing 7,000 people on a full and part-time basis that generates €151 million in wages every year.
“The tourist industry was worth €168 million in the county last year but now that’s all lost this year.
“Of course there’s more people holidaying at home and that’s welcome but it still means three-quarters of the pubs in the country are still closed,” he said.
If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email firstname.lastname@example.org To contact Donegal Post, email email@example.com To contact Inish Times, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.