So since we last posted the entire world has changed. I don’t need to tell you about the coronavirus, you’re likely to be getting that from all angles. But for those of you who have been living under a rock, all pubs in Dublin, and Ireland have closed in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.

It was last Thursday, the 12th of March that The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, announced the closure of schools, universities and other such public spaces and advised that we all needed to start engaging in social distancing. Queue panic buying and a large move to remote working for those who could.

In the following weekend it became quite apparent that pub-goers weren’t the best at the whole social distancing thing. And on the Saturday following the Taoiseach’s statement, and following a slew of videos from packed pubs that day and the night before, a movement aiming to dissuade pub-goers and would-be pub-goers from going to the pub began online under the hashtag #closethepubs. This was amplified when the Chief Medical Officer made mention of the issue in a press conference.

Pubs slowly began to close. The first we noticed was Peadar Browns, who announced on the Saturday morning that they felt it in the best interest to shut up shop. Then came Grogan’s, and Grogan’s being a pub that’s a little more known than Peadars, it cast a few fairly big ripples into the whole metaphorical pub closure ocean.

Realising that our social media reach to the pub-going public was more considerable than most, we thought it best to put something out through our active channels to push the message out further. So the graphic (pictured) was hastily put together, the ‘leave the pub now to get back to it quicker’ sentiment of it having come from Historian, podcaster and Grogan’s diehard, Donal Fallon in a conversation we had over DM on Instagram.



Shortly thereafter, we decided to start compiling a list of pubs that had made the difficult and repsonsible decision to close on a Twitter thread and then things sort of took off. More and more pubs began to announce closures and the tweet started to amass a decent amount of traction.

By Sunday morning, government were in the media stating that they would legislatively shut pubs if needs be and public pressure had shut the majority of pubs. A meeting was convened between government and the LVA and the VFI, the latter two being the main publican lobby groups in the country. Following this meeting, it was agreed that pubs would close to facilitate the tackling of the spread of COVID-19.

So no pubs on Paddy’s Day. A grim first, especially when considering the fact that the LVA spokesperson stated that some pubs may never reopen due to the financial upheaval caused by the closures. Devastating.

So that was that. All pubs closed. Then come Monday, I happened upon a New York Times article:

Last Orders… Ireland Closes All Pubs on Eve of St Patrick’s Day

DUBLIN – Ireland on Sunday said all bars in the country should close until at least the end of the month to curb the spread of coronavirus after videos of groups singing in packed Dublin venues sparked anger on social media.

The article, which is taken from Reuters and is duplicated on a number of other major publications including the Huffington Post and others across the world. The article, which reports on the pub closures, ends with the paragraph:

Twitter users praised the pubs that had closed voluntarily, with the DublinByPub.ie bar guide offering a list of responsible pubs “to go on the lash in when this is all over.”

So there you have it, I’ve officially added “got the phrase ‘go on the lash’ published in three major global publications” to my CV.

1 reply
  1. tom mcnamara
    tom mcnamara says:

    Fantastic reporting and writing for you.
    Can’t imagine the pubs closed in Ireland.
    This yank won’t will be rooting for you when it’s over. And I can’t wait to have a pint of the vitamin G on my return.
    Hang in there

    Reply

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