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At least 2,450 jobs lost in Dublin pub sector since March, publican reps say

The LVA has indicated there may also be further significant job losses ahead.

Image: Shutterstock/Africa Studio

AT LEAST 2,450 jobs have been lost in the Dublin pub sector since pubs closed their doors in March, according to the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA). 

This represents more than one in every five of the 12,000 jobs generated by Dublin pubs before the beginning of the crisis, the LVA said. 

“At the outset of this crisis, pubs in Dublin and across the country acknowledged the need to close our doors for the good of public health,” LVA chief executive Donall O’Keeffe said. 

This continues to be the responsible course of action, but it has had a real and serious economic impact on the pub sector in Dublin.

On 15 July, Taoiseach Micheál Martin announced that, on the advice of NPHET, the Phase Four plan to reopen all pubs on 20 July was to be delayed by three weeks after the number of new confirmed cases rose in the previous two weeks. 

The following day, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil that there is no guarantee that pubs will reopen on 10 August. 

Varadkar said he could not say if pubs will reopen on that date, but said they certainly will not be opening before that date. 

“We’re not saying they will open on the 10th of August – we are saying they will open no sooner than the 10th of August.”

Further job losses

The LVA has indicated there may also be further significant job losses ahead, with almost one in three Dublin pubs yet to reopen and any pubs that do open operating at 50% capacity or less.

The association also confirmed that ten pubs across Dublin have ceased trading since the closure in mid March, including The Queens in Dalkey, The Donaghmede Inn and The Cardiff Inn, Finglas.  

“Almost one third of the pubs in Dublin are yet to reopen and their viability is further threatened every additional day they remain closed. Any business or employer would struggle if they had no income for 40% of a year, which is the situation facing pubs who will not open before 10 August,” O’Keeffe said.

“A further tangible sign of that struggle comes in the form of the 10 Dublin pubs who have ceased trading and decided to keep their doors closed for good.

The loss of these businesses will be felt by the workers, the publicans involved and by their local communities. Sadly these are unlikely to be the last Dublin pubs to take such a step this year. 

O’Keeffe said they “expect there will be significant further redundancies should the public health situation require additional delays in the reopening of pubs”. 

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“As it is, even those pubs who are trading have had to let some workers go and/or reduce the number of hours and level of salary provided to account for pub capacity being reduced to 50% or less of their pre-crisis levels,” he said. 

“These problems are multiplied for pubs who are not in a situation to take in any income.

This time last year, Dublin pubs were having difficulty finding sufficient staff, such were the number of jobs being created. How that picture has now changed.

“To what extent the employment outlook further darkens will depend on the trading situation and the public health prognosis in the weeks and months ahead,” O’Keeffe said.

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