Tullamore publican pushes for Good Friday opening

publicans are set to lobby the Government to have the choice whether or not to open on Good Friday.

publicans are set to lobby the Government to have the choice whether or not to open on Good Friday.

The issue was raised in the form of a motion during the AGM of the Vinters Federation of Ireland in Kilkenny last week.

Tullamore publican Emmet Lynch was one of those who supported the motion.

“Some of the older publicans were in favour of keeping it as it is but I believe you should have the choice,” said Mr Lynch.

In 2010 Limerick publicans were granted a special exemption to open for business on Good Friday when Leinster played Munster in Thomand Park.

As the motion was carried at the AGM last week, the VFI are now calling on the Government to give publicans the choice.

Another issue that was raised at the conference was that of rates.

Mr Lynch said Tullamore Chamber had broached the issue of reduced rates with the council in the past, but to no avail.

He said where a 5% reduction may not have a huge effect on businesses, a similar system to that operated in the UK should be in operation here. In the UK rates are re-assessed if there is a downturn, however “no mechanism for this exists here,” said Mr Lynch.

He said many local businesses are rated on evaulations which were made over 30 years ago. “We are calling for an examination of the entire process,” he said.

Nine Offaly publicans attended the 39th VFI AGM.

New President and Kilkenny publican Gerry Rafter addressed the delegates and called on members to remain positive despite the continuing decline of the pub trade. He called on the Government to help small and medium business in this country by tempering austerity with stimulus packages.

He concluded by calling on members to market themselves better and to look at events to drive footfall. “Event driven activity is vital to give people a reason to visit the pub. We have published an Events Guide handbook which we have presented to all our members and I hope that this will give them guidance and inspiration.”