'Protect our Pubs' campaign launched today to seek help from new government


The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), and Drinks Ireland are calling for a temporary reduction in the hospitality VAT rate until December 31, 2020, and as part of the July stimulus programme.




Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive, VFI is pictured with Padraig McGann, President VFI and owner of McGanns Bar, Monivea, Co. Galway (right). Picture Andres Poveda

The group, which represents over 5,000 pubs in Ireland, has today launched Protect our Pubs, a public campaign to highlight the important social and cultural role that the drinks and hospitality industry plays in our communities.


Approximately 2 out of 3 Dublin pubs have reopened this week but outside of Dublin, more than 60 percent of pubs remain closed.


For the pubs that have, or intend to reopen, Government guidelines will mean a significant change in how they operate and how consumers experience the Irish pub.


Reduced capacity will mean some will have to operate at 50 percent capacity or less with time-limits on customer visits.


With no incoming tourism, this will leave many vulnerable, and struggling to meet costs while trading at a loss.


Over 70 percent of Irelands tourism revenue comes from overseas visitors which is currently lost as the country is effectively closed to tourists.


The call for a reduction in the VAT rate on alcohol, which would support the reopening of pubs, comes following comments from Failte Ireland chief executive who said the pandemics impact on tourism has been "catastrophic" and "dwarfs all previous crises".




Donall OKeeffe, CEO, LVA is pictured with Ronan Lynch, Chairman of the LVA and owner of The Swan Bar at the launch of the Protect our Pubs campaign today. Picture Andres Poveda

Speaking at today's launch, CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), Donall OKeeffe said; "As our sector reopens over the coming months, it will do so under new and unique circumstances, completely at odds with what it previously meant to enjoy our culture and heritage in the pub.


"We have had to completely change our business model and the VAT model should change to reflect our new reality.


"Public support for our campaign to protect Irelands pubs is crucial to ensure that the Government understands the gravity of the situation our industry is in."