A Killaloe bar and nightclub owner who is due to get married this Saturday has warned that the reintroduction of a curfew will have a strong negative impact on the sector.

Sixmilebridge native, Jayme Keogh is the owner of the Bóruma Gastro Bar which was one of the first establishments in the county to announce their closure in March of last year amid a rising number of COVID-19 cases.

Eighteen months on, much has changed with plenty of hardship and stress endured by those working in the hospitality sector with doors opening, closing and reopening again. As per new Government guidelines, a curfew of 12am has been introduced for the hospitality sector.

Speaking to The Clare Echo on Wednesday morning, Jayme outlined, “It will have a strong impact because I have a nightclub downstairs, a lot of people want to come out later, enjoy live music and listen to DJ, this is killing that, it is reducing staff again, everyone has to be out by 12am, it is not last orders by 12am”. Currently there is a staff of twelve at The Borúma, ideally he would like this figure to be seventeen.

“They’re blaming hospitality again, the majority of bars and restaurants had been compliant again, the guidelines were fine if they were enforced properly. Minorities brought down the house on hospitality,” Jayme said of the new measures. “I think there could be another circuit breaker the way things are going, I could see a seven day circuit breaker similar to what they’re doing in Australia”.

Business has been impacted in East Clare, he confirmed. “Our business was back to seventy five percent of normal levels. You can see that this time of year in Killaloe, the midweek is gone. Older people from the Continent would normally be here coming during off-peak times, there would have been a lot of people from Belgium, Holland and Germany fishing in Lough Derg but they are not here now”.

On Saturday, Jayme is set to tie the knot to Ciara Colllins, his long-term partner. Not alone has this week’s development impacted on the business but it has affected their plans to get married with scant detail issued regarding the fine aspects that go hand in hand with the big day. “Weddings are stressful enough, this is a disaster to try stay organised on top of everything”.

He added, “We’ve been looking forward to it for a long time, we held tough to our original date, it was up and down all summer with numbers and whether we could have twenty five or fifty. Now we’re hit with this and no one knows, they could have announced it this week to come into effect from Monday but they’ve done it now and we’re days away from getting married but we’ve no clarification. We don’t know if we have to stop live music or what happens when the clock hits midnight. Friends of ours were organising a mini-bus to go up and down to the venue and now they’re thinking of cancelling because they don’t want to be putting pressure on us. We’re trying to hear back from the hotel who are waiting for information, weddings were never mentioned in the announcement”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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