Laois businesses reacting in anger to Level 5 lockdown

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Laois businesses reacting in anger to Level 5 lockdown

The Level 5 lockdown that starts at midnight this Wednesday across Ireland, means the closure of non-essential businesses for the next six weeks. 

Businesses like barbers and hairdressers must close while pubs and restaurants can only offer a takeaway service.

Laois businesses have been sharing their anger at the announcement.

Kavanagh's Bar in Portlaoise had this to say.

"Very upsetting times for everyone involved in the hospitality trade.
What will happen to our mortgage repayments? Do we actually have jobs long term?
This is, yet again, an absolute kick in the stones to people who have done the right thing over and over again.
And then to hear 'the experts' such as Prof. Sam McConkey dismiss the hospitality trade over and over again. While he feels compassion with experiencing bereavement, unfortunately Prof Sam Mcconkey and the likes has unfortunately clearly no experience of dealing with self isolation, day to day normal life, financial pressures, depression etc.
Everyone lives in their own bubble. These people, however well intentioned and well educated live in their own bubble and their arrogance and interest in their own notoriety absolutely makes this situation worse for everyone.
Last 2 points;
•we had 14 staff in March, 9 in sept, next week ZERO.
•We have 15 friends able to get out and find some solace in our outdoor area. We're happy to serve them and to keep our great staff employed. Our outdoor area can seat 60 people at 2m social distance.
Please give us some respect"

While Gary Devane proprietor of Portland Barbers in Portlaoise shared an emotional video where he described himself as "f**king fuming".

"Us barbers and hairdressers have worked tirelessly to keep covid out of our businesses and we have succeeded, we've followed every guideline possible. I'm personally absolutely fuming with the government. I'm just angry that I have to close my doors for up to six weeks. I've worked tirelessly to make this business work. We will bounce back again but it's unfair. I'm angry, I'm frustrated. I understand that the health of the country must come first but look at who is causing the problems. It's certainly not the businesses," he said.

Watch that video here. 

He also made the following written statement.

"To say we are disappointed and annoyed is an understatement.....
The Hairdressing & Barbering Sector has worked tirelessly to keep Covid away from our businesses, and succeeded...
We are only getting back to somewhat normal after being closed for 3.5 months during the first lockdown and now we're closed again....
Any customer who has a booking post Wednesday will be contacted tomorrow to do our best to rearrange your appointment, but please understand we simply may not be able to fit everyone in.
We thank you for your support since we reopened and we will be back and look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Please look after each other and stay safe... Portland Barbers".

See list of shops and businesses that can remain open here.