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Berlin bar event was 'absolutely appalling' says Dublin publican

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Ronan Lynch runs The Swan Bar, which has been closed for five months, on Aungier Street

Ronan Lynch runs The Swan Bar, which has been closed for five months, on Aungier Street

Ronan Lynch runs The Swan Bar, which has been closed for five months, on Aungier Street

A Dublin publican whose premises has been closed for more than five months has labelled the scenes witnessed in Berlin D2 over the weekend as "absolutely appalling".

Ronan Lynch, who runs The Swan Bar on Aungier Street, has voiced his anger at the blatant disregard for public safety at an event that happened in the Dame Lane restaurant on Saturday afternoon.

"I've been a publican since I was 26, I'm a third-generation publican but it's been in the family since 1937.

Messing

"The day I got my licence, my dad turned around to me and said, 'from here on in, you've got to run this pub in a responsible manner - no messing'.

"I've been closed for five months now and seeing something like that, where there's a total disregard for the people on the premises, is hard to see.

"That's not what the majority of publicans do. I've never seeing anything like that in any pub I've ever been in.

"I just don't get it and in the current climate, it's totally irresponsible."

He said for those 3,500 publicans who remain closed due to Covid regulations, the hedonistic scenes sent out entirely the wrong message, especially given the hard work that has been done to try to reopen those businesses.

Berlin D2 is not a licensed premises, but does hold a restaurant licence.

"There are guys all over Ireland running little country pubs in towns and villages that are still closed, they're all doing the best that they can and this is absolutely disgraceful," he continued.

"To see this kind of carry on when they're all closed is unacceptable. To run your business in that manner is bananas."

He said the nature of the event showed a "cavalier disregard" for what the Government was trying to achieve during the crisis. "That model in the current environment is just disgraceful," he continued.

He said there was "real frustration" among publicans whose businesses have been forced to stay closed, with real fears now that the Government will not let them reopen at the end of the month as they make schools a priority.

Challenging

Mr Lynch, who's also Chairman of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), is running a #supportnotsympathy campaign with the Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) calling on the Government for meaningful subsidy packages as the bills need to be paid.

"It's just going to be really challenging," he said.

"There's no tourists or office workers in town and things are only half open."

He said more support is needed for publicans whose mortgage moratoriums will come to an end soon and who are facing into a tough winter.