Publicans warn over crowded streets outside bars in Dublin city centre

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Street drinking in Dublin city centre jeopardises public health and presents a terrible image, publicans have warned.

Many examples of busy streets around the capital on Saturday evening were shared on social media.

It said: “This is in no way acceptable and completely jeopardises public health, given the lack of social distancing observed.

“Unfortunately scenes like this have been taking place over the last few weekends in Dublin city centre.

“We are reminding pubs who are serving ‘takeout’ of their responsibilities.”

On Sunday, the National Public Health Emergency Team said no new deaths had been recorded overnight.

A further 18 cases were recorded, bringing the total confirmed cases to 25,527.

Legal advice issued by the gardai in May said that any drinks purchased to take away during the lockdown must be consumed more than 100 metres from the pub which sold the alcohol.

The advice also indicated the gardai have power to confiscate drink being consumed on the road or in a public place.

The LVA added: “We are also aware that members of the public are bringing alcohol purchased from off-licences with them to these locations.

“Such drinking in public spaces presents a terrible image of our city centre. It is potentially extremely damaging to public health.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 5, 2020
People out in Dublin on Saturday evening as lockdown restrictions start to ease. (Gaillot et Gray/Twitter/PA)

The group said it recognised the many pubs across Dublin which have traded responsibly since the Northern Ireland reopening last Monday.

“Most pubs and most customers are following the reopening guidelines.

“We welcome and fully endorse the active Garda inspection operation to ensure compliance with the reopening guidelines.

“We have received reports that many pubs in Dublin have received a positive response following on from Garda inspections undertaken over the past few days.”

Health worker Laura Durcan, who lives in Dublin city centre, shared her thoughts of Saturday night’s crowds.

She said: “Town is horrendous tonight. Drunken crowds everywhere.

“No distancing.

“I am not the fun police but I am really really worried about two weeks’ time.”

Pubs that only serve drinks may be able to reopen in Ireland from July 20, but that is still to be confirmed by the Government.

The current rules allow pubs that can also operate as a restaurant to open from last Monday, as long as they served a “substantial meal” at the same time as any drinks.

Former Health Minister Simon Harris said: “C’mon everyone. We’ve come too far to go back.

“Great to see our economy reopened & social life resuming but let’s keep using our cop on and common sense.

“We owe it to each other, to those families who have lost loved ones, to the local business we want to keep open and to our kids.”

A doctor said he believed Ireland was weeks away from a second wave of infection after witnessing party scenes like an All-Ireland final football night.

Maitiu O Tuathail, former president of the National Association of General Practitioners (NAGP), told the Brendan O’Connor show on RTE Radio 1 that he found it profoundly upsetting.

“There were guards everywhere and they were doing their best but it was just completely rammed.”

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