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*Photograph: John Power

Publicans across the country were not respected by the Irish Government with a visible lack of trust pushed in their direction, personnel from the industry have declared.

Over 30 publicans protested at the constituency offices of Clare’s Government TDs, Cathal Crowe (FF) and Joe Carey (FG) on Monday. Over 24 hours later, it was announced following a meeting of Cabinet that pubs would reopen on September 21st.

Des Higgins of Goosers Bar in Ballina has seen the positive impact of reopening, their establishment has been serving food and alcohol since the end of June.

He is adamant owners of pubs not serving food will show due diligence in adhering to regulations. “What is the difference between what is being served in the €9 meal and a few pints, I don’t see the difference. At the end of the day, pubs are well ran and publicans are well able to do it, it is all a bit of common sense at the end of the day,” Des stated.

Owners of pubs that remained closed for six months were “not in a good place,” he admitted. “A lot of them are depressed about it, they are not in a good place at all”.

Higgins said the closure of pubs went “on too long”. He highlighted that Ireland was the last country in Europe to reopen the pubs. “The danger is now how many will actually reopen, that is the worrying part of it. It is not a good time, facing into the winter too”.

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