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Calls for Dublin bar to be shut down after 'outrageous' video shows them breaking Covid-19 rules

The footage shows customers that are not social-distancing and the barman pouring drinks into people’s mouths.

Image: Twitter

Updated Aug 16th 2020, 6:45 PM

THE ACTING CHIEF Medical Officer has described as “reckless” the footage of a bar in Dublin city centre showing customers and staff not adhering to Covid-19 guidelines.

The videos, which were widely shared online, are believed to have been filmed at a brunch event at Berlin D2 based on Dame Lane in the city yesterday afternoon.

The footage was uploaded to social media and shows customers that are not social-distancing and the barman pouring drinks into people’s mouths.

Customers were asked to stay in assigned areas which were marked by tape on the floor, but people were dancing close together towards the end of the event.

Speaking on RTÉ News this evening, Dr Ronan Glynn said that it was no surprise that a level of complacency in tackling Covid-19 has set in, given that the country has been fighting the virus for six months.

“Certainly what we saw on social media last night was reckless,” he said.

“It simply cannot be tolerated, and behaviour like that around the country puts the work that the majority of people in this country have done, to get us to where we are, at risk. We must adopt a zero-tolerance approach to that from here on.

“It’s simply not good enough that we’ve had the number of deaths that we’ve had in this country, that we’ve healthcare workers who are absolutely exhausted after all that they’ve gone through in the last six months, that they wake up this morning to look at images like that.

“I really think we need to double down across our society to prevent scenes like that from happening again.”

Earlier, the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) called for the bar to be shut down after the videos emerged last night, while Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the Restaurants Association of Ireland have also criticised the venue.

The LVA is the trade association and representative body for publicans in Dublin. Berlin D2 is not a pub and not a member of the association.

‘Outrageous and appalling’

A spokesperson for the LVA told TheJournal.ie the behaviour displayed in the videos is “outrageous and appalling”.

“That business should be shut down immediately. It is not a pub and does not hold a pub licence.

“Clear need for inspections across the hospitality sector to ensure compliance with guidelines and licensing conditions,” they added.

The LVA is currently running a campaign calling for support for the many pubs that remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said the scenes in the video are “deplorable and despicable”.

“They are a slap on the face to every front line worker in our country who put their lives on the line during this pandemic,” he added.

TheJournal.ie has made numerous attempts to contact Berlin D2 today but has not yet received a response.

Restaurateur Jay Bourke, who is involved with the venue, told RTÉ News he is “absolutely mortified” by the video but believes it shows “20 seconds of madness”. However, longer versions of the video that are also circulating online indicate the guidelines were breached for a longer period.

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‘A kick in the gut’

Minister Simon Harris tweeted that the footage is “shameful” and “a right kick in the gut and middle finger to everyone in our country who has worked so hard & sacrificed so much, to everyone who has lost a loved one or been sick with #Covid19, to every frontline worker and to every responsible business owner who have suffered so much”.

Stephen Donnelly, Harris’ successor as Minister for Health, said people are “rightly sickened” by the videos.

“The vast majority of Irish people have sacrificed a huge amount to help suppress this virus. They’ve shown huge solidarity. People are rightly sickened by these scenes. The reckless actions of a small few can have huge repercussions on everyone else,” Donnelly said.

An Garda Síochána said it “will not be providing detail on individual incidents involving suspected breached of the Public Health Regulations”, but added that gardaí will continue to “enforce existing legislation where appropriate to do so”.

“Where potential breaches of the Public Health Regulations are identified, and where a person/business does not come into compliance with the regulations, a file is submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a direction as to how to proceed.

“The Covid-19 pandemic remains a public health crisis and An Garda Síochána continues to appeal to all citizens to comply with Public Health Guidelines and Regulations in order to continue to save lives,” a spokesperson added.

Contains reporting by Stephen McDermott.

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Órla Ryan

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