“On behalf of the rural pubs I am bitterly disappointed that they are being discriminated against by not allowing them to reopen on next Monday 20th July as promised,” that’s the plaintive cry of Kerry Independent TD, Danny Healy Rae this evening in reaction to the news the whole country has suddenly veered away to.
Huge amounts of work is being done is some pubs here in Castleisland and, with a deadline looming, the intensity was rising in recent days.
Now the opening date for pubs has been deferred to August 10th and, with everything else that’s making news these days, that could be pushed out again.
Results of Weeks of Mixing
The experts are basing their caution on the rising numbers of young people now being infected with the Covid-19 virus resulting from weeks of mixing in large groups with little or no regard for their own health or that of the family members they may be sharing a house or home with.
Rumours are abounding of shebeens being set up with wings and corners of sheds being cleared out and old stoves and ranges and dart-boards and card tables being brought in and with the drink at cost price.
Favourite Corner of the Local
There are people doing fine out there – thank you very much. However, there are also people who would love to go and sit in their favourite corner of their local and call for a drop of their usual tipple and have a chat like they haven’t done since mid March – and that’s a long time.
There are those also who fear that things in the pub trade will never again be the same as so many people are frightened out of their wits to go near anyone – not to mention going into a confined space where contact will be almost impossible to avoid.
The Rise and Fall
One evening in 2010 I attended the launch of a book in a pub here in Castleisland. The book, The Rise and Fall of the Irish Pub was written by US writer, Robert E. Connolly and, as the title suggests, it charts the chequered, turning, twisting fortunes of the business from the early years to the year of publication.
It’s a book to which Jerome ‘Fagin’ Hartnett contributed with insights into pubs in rural Ireland.
Book Describes it Journey
The back cover of the books sets out its stall in that it describes its journey as one from the dark days into glorious sunshine and back again into gloomy shadows.
“Since the Irish pub, like Ireland itself, is remarkably resilient and has survived for more than two millennia, the author argues that it will undoubtedly be able to reinvent itself requiring further chapters in its long and glorious history.”
Won’t this be some chapter by the time it’s over.