Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Louise O’Reilly TD has said that red tape, bureaucracy and a lack of government preparation is making an ‘outdoor summer’ incredibly difficult for businesses and the public.
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“Months before the public health restrictions were eased, the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and senior government ministers were promising businesses and the public an ‘outdoor summer’.
“In the weeks that have passed, it is clear to all that there was little preparatory work done by the government or city and county councils to allow for an ‘outdoor summer’.
“Now we have a new problem whereby the legality of pubs and restaurants serving alcohol to customers availing of on-street seating is being questioned, and Gardaí are threatening to curtail the practice.
“Such red-tape and bureaucracy only serves to damage businesses further, especially our already-struggling pub and restaurant sector.
“While it should be possible to overcome this problem with commonsense and discretion for the time being, it is abundantly clear that allowing pubs and restaurants to serve alcohol to customers availing of on-street seating needs to be put on a firm legal footing.
“It is not good enough for government ministers to say discretion and discretion alone will address this situation, they must look at using all available legislative powers to resolve the matter immediately.”