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Acting CMO: 'I'm not sure a situation like Killarney would be avoided by opening pubs'

This morning Independent TD Michael Health-Rae said people would get alcohol “in a measured and sensible way” if pubs re-opened.

THE ACTING CHIEF Medical Officer has rejected suggestions that large social gatherings could be prevented if pubs were allowed to re-open.

Footage captured in Killarney on Saturday night showed a large group of people drinking in the street, standing close together singing and dancing.

Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that if pubs were allowed to open, people would get alcohol “in a measured sensible way”.

When asked about the suggestion that house parties and scenes such as the one in Killarney over the weekend could be avoided if pubs were open, Acting CMO Dr Ronan Glynn said:

“Obviously we keep the issue of pubs under review, but I’m not sure a situation like Killarney would be avoided by opening pubs.”

He said the anger and frustration in relation to these incidents is understandable, but he added that the majority of people – including young people – are adhering to the guidance. 

“I’ve said numerous times that all of us can slip up, none of us is perfect but to my mind the vast majority of people are following the public health advice. And really we need to focus on that, to focus on the silent majority rather than on the odd occasion where a small, small group of people – in relative terms – slip up,” he said this evening.

Dr Glynn said the re-opening of pubs is always under review, but health officials do not believe the trajectory of the virus has improved enough for this to happen now. 

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“Schools just reopened, many schools just reopened today, we’re seeing a stabilisation in the overall number of cases which hopefully is a sign that the measures are beginning to take effect,” he said.

“We need to see how that evolves over the coming couple of weeks and then we’ll assess all measures at that point.

“I’m not going to give a date, I’m not going to give an intention, we need to see – this could go either way at this point but we are heartened by the apparent stabilisation of numbers over the past few days.”

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