Vintners hit out at "hapless" guidelines following "shambolic" week
Strong words following a difficult few days for the nightlife sector.
The Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI) has heavily criticised the Government's approach to reopening the nightlife sector in Ireland.
A notably scathing VFI statement, issued on Friday evening, quickly followed a last-minute amendment calling on nightclubs to operate on a ticket-only basis.
It is understood that the ticket-only element will come into effect from next week, leaving nightclubs to proceed as planned over the bank holiday weekend.
In response, the VFI argues that the guidelines will lead to confusion amongst both staff and customers and will prove "impossible" to successfully implement.
The VFI also warns that making late night events ticket-exclusive may lead to public order incidents as large ticketless crowds gather outside clubs.
"When it comes to reopening guidelines for the late night sector the government appear to be all over the place with no practical knowledge of how the sector operates," said VFI Chief Executive Padraig Cribben.
"Yesterday, it was suggested events would be all-ticket, only for that stipulation to be removed from the guidelines, yet hours before clubs reopen tickets will once again be mandatory.
"This really has been a shambolic process from the press conference last Tuesday to this last-minute senseless u-turn," Cribben continued.
Describing the situation as "unworkable", Cribben noted that unanswered questions remain.
"How will this be managed in late bars? How will music and dancing be regulated in traditional pubs? Simple questions, but officials remain unable to explain what guidelines pubs should implement.
"After bring constrained for so long the sector deserves better. Right now it’s in a total mess with no leadership from government."
The government is set to meet with representatives from the sector again on Tuesday.