"I'm devastated for my neighbours" - Newbridge restaurant boss criticises decision to keep wet pubs closed

"I'm devastated for my neighbours" - Newbridge restaurant boss criticises decision to keep wet pubs closed

Harrigan's is ready for customers

The government has been criticised for being too 'short sighted' by not allowing for the reopening of pubs that don't serve food.

Newbridge businessman Vivian Carroll, who operates Judge Roy Beans and Edward Harrigan & Sons in the town, said he hops that the 'wet pub' industry will survive when Covid-19 restrictions are eventually lifted. 

Mr Carroll (pictured above) who is preparing to open up on Friday, said: "I feel the government has been very short sighted by keeping the wet pubs closed.

"I am devastated for my neighbours here in Newbridge in particular.

"We work together as a close knit group and run extremely professional operations, complying with all guidelines and it would seem our industry is not trusted by the government at this stage."

Non-essential retail shops, hair and beauty providers, gyms and leisure centres are among the businesses that are reopened their premises to the public today as well as cinemas, museums and galleries.

Pubs serving food and restaurants will remain closed until Friday.

Mr Carroll said that drinking in a pub is a more controlled environment in terms of following public health protocols compared with drinking at home.

He explained: "Wet pubs are a much safer option than the alternative, house parties.

"We are a heavily regulated industry and well used to working to high standards, controlling customers having a few drinks is obviously challenging, however this is what we do seven days a week.

"I just hope there is a pub trade there when we get on top of the virus."