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Fianna Fail TDs slam Taoiseach over ‘totalitarian’ rules for reopening pubs and restaurants

25th May 2021

Fianna Fail TDs have lashed out at the Taoiseach over the strict new rules for hospitality. Micheál Martin faced a barrage of criticism from members of his own Parliamentary Party at the weekly private meeting over the latest Fáilte Ireland rules for pubs reopening.

Outdoor dining will resume on June 7 for bars and restaurants, while it is expected that people will be allowed move back indoors for eating and drinking from early or mid-July.

However, this is not good enough for many of Mr Martin’s backbench TDs, many of whom come from outside Dublin or other urban areas.

Sligo-based TD, Marc MacSharry, was one of these, and sources told the Irish Mirror that he accused the Government of presiding over a “totalitarian regime” in his criticisms at the meeting.Micheal Martin wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone: Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin© Gareth Chaney/Collins Fianna Fail TD Marc MacSharry and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin

He confirmed this to the Mirror, and he added: “Yes, I said it, it’s a totalitarian regime we’re looking at here.

“Why on earth are we consenting to this?

“When you distill the advice, the considered opinion of most of the experts is that those who are fully vaccinated should be allowed have some freedoms.

“And yes, of course, that includes freedoms to enjoy hospitality, and of course international travel.

“They should be free to enjoy these freedoms as a vaccine bonus.”A classic Irish Bar© Stock Photo A classic Irish Bar

The criticism comes following the publishing of Failte Ireland’s guidelines for the reopening of pubs and restaurants.

No live music, a 105 minute limit and a 11.30pm curfew are some of the guidelines which have been issued to businesses.

Fáilte Ireland published guidelines ahead of the government’s decision on Friday for when indoor dining and drinking can resume again – likely to be mid-July.

Under the measures it will be a maximum six people aged 13 or over per table but this limit of six does not include accompanying children aged 12 or younger.

The total combined capacity at a table cannot exceed 15 overall (max. 6 persons aged 13 and over) – for both indoor and outdoor dining.

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