There’s No Cheffin’ Difference


Vintners’ Federation of Ireland Chief Executive Padraig Cribben arriving for the Oireachtus Special Committee on Covid-19 Response in June

This morning/afternoon.

With ‘gastro pubs’ allowed to re-open…

…The chief executive of the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI) has said that all pubs should be allowed open in December because the guidelines are the same for food and non-food pubs.


Padraig Cribben said he was hearing “all kinds of nonsense” about the sizes of kitchens and chefs, but pointed out that less than a third of one percent of Covid cases have originated in the sector.

“There’s going to be alcohol in the pubs that do food, there’s going to be alcohol in the restaurants, and there’s going to be alcohol in all the domestic settings where there will be no social distancing where there will be no masks, where there will be no hand sanitization,’ Mr Cribben said.

He said he believes there is a “vindictiveness” in NPHET towards pubs and that a decision was made not to allow them re-open three weeks ago.

Call for all pubs to be allowed reopen in December (RTÉ)


20 thoughts on “There’s No Cheffin’ Difference

  1. george

    Why would there be no handwashing in people’s houses? These lobbyists really come out with vast amounts of drivel.

    1. Otis Blue

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      Upton Sinclair (1934)

    2. John Smith

      ‘Why would there be no handwashing in people’s houses?’

      Because the man is talking about reality not theory – if for ‘no handwashing’ you read ‘only when you would normally do it, if it weren’t for CV19’, which is surely what he means. Theoretically, at the moment, people are washing/sanitising their hands with every second breath, following all the correct procedures – as shown in the guidance – when using masks (actually an imposibility in every-day settings) and wearing them whenever social-distancing is difficult, keeping at least two metres apart from visitors and, of course, never hugging (horrendous crime). In reality, while some people are so scared that they are doing all this and more, large numbers of people are going along with it all in public and living life pretty well as normal at home. Add in the Christmas spirit (of both kinds!) and you can be pretty sure that large numbers of people won’t be handwashing all the time or even very often at all!

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      They won’t because of seating regulations and distances between tables. You don’t have that in the crowded free for all of a wet pub.

      1. Cian

        Split the difference.

        Open all pubs and introduce a maximum occupancy based on size to allow reasonable distancing between groups, possibly with table service to avoid crowds at the bar.

        Then, as diddy said, there are more pubs open so can cope better.

        1. E'Matty

          @Cian, for once I have to agree 100% with your comment. Spread the drinking population across as many venues as possible, all socially distanced based on the pubs floor space area, and with the table service we saw before. It’s that or we all pack into houses to meet up with family and the friends we may not have seen all year, becuase we’re meeting up one way or another.

          1. Cian

            I hasten to add that I have no formal education in medicine or virology or similar and this is just my take on a “common sense” approach.

            That, and I’m gagging* for a decent pint of Guinness with the lads. :-)

            *I decided not to write “dying” here!

          2. Brother Barnabas

            “no formal education in medicine or virology…”

            sure we’re well past that, Cian

            do you have a YouTune channel?

        2. diddy

          exactly. nobody at the bar. when the tables are full the pub is full. not ideal but gastro pubs alone will not cops with demand and will only cause heart ache and aggravation

        3. Mr .T


          As cases grow and we go up in the ‘levels’, the steps should be to reduce maximum occupancy in pubs/restaurants/shops based on area of the premises.

          Less and less people allowed per sqft as cases grow.
          If its table service only there really is little difference between pub & restaurant.

    1. John Smith


      ‘I always take my health advice from someone selling me alcohol’

      Judging from what Padraig Cribben is saying above, you would be very wise to do so. He is talking more sense than a lot of the ‘official’ health advisors we are being controlled by at present!

      Even Cian is suggesting that opening wet pubs could be a good idea, with restrictions that are not so much different from what was in place when the wet pubs were allowed to open (except in Dublin) – and it’s not often I find myself agreeing with Cian!

  2. E'Matty

    The only restriction on a pub that would have made any sense, and was never introduced, would have been to decide on a max number of people allowed based on total floor space available for patrons, and then have the social distancing measures between tables as we saw already. If applied, the pub poses no additional threat to any other business/activity like supermarket shopping or travelling on the bus. People are seated at their tables with their own group, and only pass one another on the way to the toilet (can’t go to the bar).

    I have said it since day one of this “pandemic”, the pub culture of Ireland is being targeted. The health nazis have always hated our drinking culture and are determind to destroy Irish pub culture completely. This is a social engineering project and the pub owners of Ireland need to wake up and realise that if they don’t start pushing back far more aggressivley, they are done for. They have tried to go along with the government nonesense in the hope they can reopen properly in time. It ain’t going to happen. Wake up and push back now if Irish pub culture is to survive. The Irish pub is the centre of social life and many communities in this country. It will be a much diminished country to live in if we allow this government and the zealots at NPHET kill off our pubs.

    1. Micko

      The max number of people idea is good and it can work.

      Some venues did it and it was working. I got out for one socially distanced gig in the Workman’s when we were on Level 2-3.42 or whatever – and it was brilliant!

      Table service, only 50 people allowed in. 4 to a table. Was pretty cool actually.

      Seems like aeons ago now…

    2. Zaccone

      +1 that would actually make scientific sense.

      A 9euro meal, wet pubs vs dry pubs, is all nonsense. And by keeping half the pubs in Ireland closed this month they’ll just force people into house parties. Which will have no social distancing, everyone using the same fridge, everyone using one bathroom thats not being regularly disinfected etc.

      We’d be far better off with those who want to socialize this month doing so in controlled environments in pubs, instead of in uncontrolled environments in houses. Because they’re going to do it either way.

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