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Pints! Dublin pub manager 'delighted' as bar curfew looks set to be lifted

'We were expecting the hours to go back to 12pm but lifting the whole suite of restrictions was a surprise'

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Daniel Smith of Grogans

Daniel Smith of Grogans

Daniel Smith of Grogans

The manager of one of Dublin’s most popular pubs has said he can’t wait to get back to serving pints as the current curfews on bars looks set to be lifted this weekend.

Daniel Smith of Grogans said they were surprised and a little caught off-guard by the imminent lifting of almost all restrictions, but added that he was "delighted by the news".

“We can’t wait," he told sundayworld.com. "It kind caught us off guard. We were expecting the hours to go back to 12pm but lifting the whole suite of restrictions was a surprise.

"But obviously we’re delighted by the announcement, we’ll be hoping to have the bar stools back at the counter tomorrow."

Cabinet is meeting this afternoon to agree on a timeline for reopening – after NPHET said almost all restrictions can be lifted as soon as the Government sees fit.

There are widespread calls in the hospitality industry for the restrictions to be lifted immediately; however, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has warned that it may take time to legally remove some of the measures.

Currently, the expectation is they will be lifted by tomorrow – with an end to the 8pm curfew, a return to normal pub service and the reopening of nightclubs.

Speaking earlier on Lunchtime Live this afternoon, Daniel said: “Seeing that now last night and seeing the reports last night did get kind of emotional.

“Seeing that you’ll be able to have the use of the bar counter again. People will be able to come in freely, find themselves a seat, they’ll be able to stand up in the pub all that.

“They are all small things in the grand scheme of things but that is what your business is and that is what creates the atmosphere that you’ve built there.

“You want to get back to that. We want to get back to how things were before. I mean, we have operated under the guidelines for the last six or seven months and it has been great to be able to do that but now, it’ll be great to go back full tilt.”

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“I’d say there are a lot of places that would be scrambling to change their rota and get the staff set up to work to close, but look, the sooner the better,” he said.

“Obviously, some places won’t be ready and that’s fine, but some places will and I mean, it is going to come in from early next week so what’s the point in waiting any longer.”

Also on the show, Sinéad O’Keeffe, Commercial Director of Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh, said the reopening is “the news we’ve been all been waiting for”.

“We’re very much smiling and looking down now at a brighter future for all of us,” she said.

“Certainly, within the stadia around the country and here at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, we are absolutely ready and dying to reopen and welcome our fans and supporters back – maybe not all with hugs but certainly with open arms, from a metaphorical perspective.”

She said the first major date on the calendar in Cork is the senior footballers and hurlers double header on February 5th.

“I do think there are a lot of people who are still nervous,” she said. “It is OK to be nervous for a while.

“We’re not used to people being in our personal space or going to the bar counter but that will all come. We’re a nation of hospitable people so that will all come.

“Certainly, here at Páirc Uí Chaoimh and throughout the GAA community, we are ready.”

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