Cancelling of St Patrick’s Day major blow to Restaurants & Tourism Sector

Statement issued by The Restaurants Association of Ireland on 10/03/2020

Adrian Cummins, CEO of the Restaurants Association of Ireland, said:

“While the financial loss to restaurants and local businesses will be huge this St. Patrick’s Day, the Restaurants Association of Ireland fully supports the government’s decision to cancel all parades in the interest of public safety.

However, the losses to restaurants and the hospitality sector need to be taken into consideration by the government. We are demanding that the government immediately implement emergency business supports to prevent closures and job losses.

What we’re hearing from our members is that they are experiencing 80% corporate booking cancellations due to COVID-19. The cancellation of one of the biggest tourism draws of the year is a further blow to many restaurant businesses and could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. While our number one priority is the safety of our customers and the public, we need the government to step up and step in and help Irish restaurants survive.”

The Restaurant Association’s top four asks of the government are:

  • Immediate reduction of the VAT rate to 9% for Tourism and Hospitality businesses for a minimum period of 6 months
  • Irish Banks must defer loan repayments for at least 6 months
  • Revenue must introduce a moratorium on VAT payments
  • Employer PRSI must be halved to support employers