The Bartenders of Ireland: How is the Hospitality Sector Faring During Covid?

Guinness pints bar
A bar full of Guinness
Happy young male barkeeper standing at counter and preparing alcohol cocktail for order while working in modern pub
Mixologist Photo: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

It’s been over 13 months to the day since wet pubs were open in Ireland, and we’re still not quite certain when exactly they will be allowed to. Throughout the pandemic, one thing has been for certain – the government’s treatment of the hospitality industry has been appalling. Bartenders, waiters, kitchen porters, glass collectors, bouncers and more have all been tossed to the curb and told to wait out the storm. But the storm hasn’t shown any signs of stopping. As the government continues to battle in-house controversies and party politics, we are no closer to knowing how and when we can expect wet pubs to open once more.

We’ve spent a year hearing from our local TD’s about how we need to keep socially distant to help the HSE deal with the influx of patients being rushed to A&E. We’ve listened to Leo Varadkar and Michael Martin speak of how the opening of the hospitality industry is too far away to be discussing rather than dealing with the problems at hand. But the hospitality industry is suffering, and its suffering worse than any other in the country. This is a problem that must be dealt with swiftly. Too many people sit at home, waiting for there to be an update on when they can return to work. Some of these people are suffering desperately with their mental health, their lack of income and the uncertainty of when they can get back to doing what they love.

Here, we have spoken to a number of people in the hospitality industry and asked them to talk about how they’ve been coping since the start of the pandemic. Some have faired better than others. Some have excelled in passion projects. Here, is their story:

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