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Anger as boozy bar scenes 'give middle finger to Covid guidelines'

  • Calls for Berlin D2 to be shut over footage of 'brunch' party

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Still images from the video that shows a man standing on the counter at Berlin D2 and pouring drink into revellers’ mouths on a packed dancefloor

Still images from the video that shows a man standing on the counter at Berlin D2 and pouring drink into revellers’ mouths on a packed dancefloor

Inside the Berlin Bar

Inside the Berlin Bar

The back door of the Berlin Bar

The back door of the Berlin Bar

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Still images from the video that shows a man standing on the counter at Berlin D2 and pouring drink into revellers’ mouths on a packed dancefloor

There has been a furious backlash from Government, the bar trade and the public to a video that emerged over the weekend that appeared to show total disregard to public health advice in a city-centre bar.

Footage circulating on social media showed a man standing on the bar and pouring alcohol into the mouths of punters on a packed dancefloor.

The 'Baked Brunch' event, which took place in Berlin D2 bar and restaurant in Dublin's Dame Lane on Saturday, started at 1pm and ended at 5pm.

Footage showed groups of people seated at separate tables and enjoying meals at the beginning of the event. They were asked to stay in boxes marked by tape on the floor. However, revellers were dancing together by the end of the event.

One eyewitness told the Herald he and his wife attended the event but left after it got "crazy".

"I went with my wife around 3pm. At the beginning it was great and quiet.

"Then the atmosphere started to be crazy and we decided to leave because we felt unsafe," he said.

Restaurateur Jay Bourke, who is involved with Berlin D2, said he was "absolutely mortified" at the scenes recorded at the bar.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Bourke said he did not think it was a full reflection of what happened in the venue.

He called it "20 seconds of madness", and described Berlin as a "very compliant premises".

But he added he was reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.

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Berlin D2 is on Dame Lane in Dublin city centre

Berlin D2 is on Dame Lane in Dublin city centre

Berlin D2 is on Dame Lane in Dublin city centre

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the footage showed "reckless actions".

"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," he said.

Shameful

Simon Harris, the former health minister and current Higher Education Minister, also criticised the scenes.

He wrote on Twitter: "A right kick in the gut & 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. Shameful."

Former Fine Gael TD Noel Rock shared the footage on social media.

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Video footage showed a man pouring drink while standing on the bar

Video footage showed a man pouring drink while standing on the bar

Video footage showed a man pouring drink while standing on the bar

"It's infuriating. I know many other pub owners are understandably livid to see this," he said. "What an utter shambles. This place should be shut down pronto."

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) also hit out. "This is outrageous and appalling. That business should be shut down immediately," it said.

According to the group, Berlin D2 is not a pub and does not hold a pub licence. It is understood the establishment holds a restaurant and a theatre licence.

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, described the footage as "deplorable and despicable".

"They are a slap in the face to every frontline worker in our country who put their lives on the line during this pandemic," he said.

An Garda Síochána said social distancing and other public health guidelines are "not penal provisions". A statement said the force "continues to enforce existing legislation where appropriate to do so".

Berlin did not respond to a request for comment.

Speaking on RTÉ News, acting chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn said it was no surprise a level of complacency in tackling Covid-19 has set in, given the country has been fighting the virus for six months. But he said a "zero tolerance" approach must be implemented.

"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."