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25/07/2021

Angry, hurt and frustrated - Donegal restaurateurs take indoor dining protest to Leinster House

'We want the people making these decisions to see our faces'

Angry, hurt and frustrated - Donegal restaurateurs take indoor dining protest to Leinster House

Outdoor dining is the only option for restaurants for the foreseeable future

A Donegal restaurateur who is deeply concerned for the future of the hospitality industry is leading a protest to the doors of Dáil Eireann.

It is expected that they will be joined by fellow restaurateurs and hospitality workers from all over the country for the protest which takes place at Leinster House on Monday at 2pm. 

Linda Boyle and her husband, chef Gary Boyle run Fusion Bistro in Killybegs. Like many others in their industry, they are devastated by the latest announcement that indoor dining has again been put on hold when everything around them has reopened. 

This is despite great efforts - and expense - by those in the hospitality sector to meet all Covid-19 safety requirements. 

“How can they think we are responsible for spreading Covid?” Ms Boyle said. “We were only open for three months out of the last 15. There is no evidence to link our industry to the spread of Covid."

Ms Boyle is determined to show the government the real people affected by their decision to delay a full return to indoor dining indefinitely.

“This affects so many people,” she said. “It is not just the owners, it is their families, the employees and their children.

“We want the people making these decisions to see our faces, to see the people it affects.”

More information on the protest - which will take place with due regard to safety - can be found on the Facebook event page Hospitality Matters

See this week’s Donegal Democrat in shops on Thursday for the full interview and for extensive reaction to the government’s decision from across the county

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