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Ah hair! Irish hair salon boss blasts 'vagueness' of latest government update on reopening of hairdressers

Top stylist Alan Keville described as "scandalous" Tánaiste Leo Varadkar's statement that hairdressers and barbers could be allowed to reopen some time in May

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Alan Keville said one customer rang 425 times

Alan Keville said one customer rang 425 times

Alan Keville said one customer rang 425 times

A well-known Irish salon owner has condemned the "blasé" announcement yesterday morning by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that hairdressers and barbers nationwide could reopen next month.

Hair stylist Alan Keville - who owns outlets in Dublin, Wexford and Naas - criticised the "vagueness" of the timescale for the reopening of salons outlined by the Tánaiste.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Vardakar suggested while it may not be the start of the month, the move is expected as part of the phased reopening.

"We'll sit down in a few weeks and lay out a plan for May and what we're planning is to allow more activities, a phased reopening of retail and personal services," he said.

"I'm not saying May 4, but over the course of May, there will be a phased reopening of personal services including hairdressers and barbers."

But Alan said that the industry felt it was being dismissed, despite creating thousands of jobs and contributing millions to the economy.

"I don't think we've been taken seriously [considering] the money that we bring into the economy and the amount of people who work in the industry," he says.

"It's actually scandalous when you think about it, [to say], 'Ah, yeah some time in May, that's grand', I mean just to stop people on Twitter giving out.

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Hairdresser (Danny Lawson/PA)

Hairdresser (Danny Lawson/PA)

Hairdresser (Danny Lawson/PA)

"Now, we're going to be rammed when we get back, but we need to be treated with a little bit more respect for what we're bringing to the economy than a blasé statement like that.

"It could be the last week in May, it could be the first week, it could be the third week, like how are you meant to organise a business to open on such a loose time scale?"

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Alan called on the government to provide a more specific date as to when hairdressers could open so they could plan ahead.

"Sometimes I think the hairdressing industry is underestimated," he continues. "We're not just two chairs in a basement, it’s little bit more sophisticated than that. It's a proper business.

"We have about 40 people working for us so they need to plan for PUP and what they're going to be doing. A lot of staff have kids and they will have to get child minders back in again, and you can't just do all that in a week.

"[The Tánaiste's statement] really means nothing because like it could be the 25th of May, so you may as well then say it could be June."

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