Local publican features in national ‘Support Your Local’ campaign to secure support for Cork's drinks and hospitality industry

Posted on 05 October 2020

5 September 2020 


Local publican features in national ‘Support Your Local’ campaign to secure support for Cork's drinks and hospitality industry 


  • Cork native Margaret O’ Shea, owner of Butler’s Bar, Minane Bridge, features in the national Support Your Local campaign run by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland which aims to secure support for Cork's drinks industry and to protect jobs 
  • Mrs O’ Shea is the fifth-generation owner of Butler’s Bar in  Minane Bridge, Cork  
  • 30,100 people employed in the accommodation and food services (AFS) industry in the South West while 19,100 jobs at risk 
  • ‘I’m over 25 years here and what I’ve built up is gone. There will be financial support required in terms of getting the business up and running’, says Mrs O’ Shea 
  • Liam Reid, Chairperson of Drinks Industry Group of Ireland: “This industry requires progressive, long-term policy decisions that will support the sector in a meaningful way, to aid the recovery and minimise the threat of jobs losses. We need to remove any barriers that impede recovery.” 

Local Publican Margaret O’ Shea, who is originally from Riverstick, features in the national 'Support Your Local' campaign run by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland.   


The campaign, organised by the Drinks Industry Group of Ireland (DIGI), is designed to raise awareness of the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Ireland’s drinks businesses — including distilleries, pubs, off-licences, breweries, hotels and restaurants.  


The Support Your Local video campaign seeks to profile the people behind the industry, showcasing how the restrictions on the sector have impacted their working life, personal life and the local communities that surround them. 


In the latest in a four-part video series, Mrs O Shea, who is a fifth-generation owner of Butler’s Bar in Cork, describes her career to date, her life at Butler’s Bar, and the need for Government supports to help his business to reopen its doors, and more importantly, to keep them open.  


“I’m delighted to be a part of the Support Your Local campaign,” said Mrs O’ Shea. “The lockdown happened very quick. We thought it would only be for a month or so but the time went on and as the reproductive rate of the virus increased, I knew it was going to be long term.”  


“I’m over 25 years here and what I’ve built up is gone. It’s just like starting all over again and there will be financial support required in terms of getting the business back up and running.” 


Ireland’s drinks industry under threat 


“In Ireland, the reopening of the drinks and hospitality sector has been slow. While some businesses have been allowed to reopen under strict guidelines, others including the pubs in Dublin, are suffering immensely as they continue to endure the longest lockdown within the EU," said Liam Reid, Chairperson of DIGI.  


“Further restrictions and set backs will not only have serious financial implications for the businesses, but threatens thousands of jobs across the country,’ he added. 


A recent report, commissioned by DIGI and authored by DCU Economist Tony Foley, found that as many as  63% of all accommodation and food services jobs (jobs in pubs, hotels and restaurants) in Ireland, or 114,000 in total, could be lost by year’s end without further supports. This includes 36,300 jobs among the 15-24 age group.  


“This industry requires progressive, long-term policy decisions that will support the sector in a meaningful way, to aid the recovery and minimise the threat of jobs losses. We need to remove any barriers that impede recovery.   


“One such barrier is the excessively high levels of tax that are imposed on the drinks and hospitality industry in Ireland. Despite being one of the most severely impacted industries of the Covid-19 pandemic, the drinks and hospitality sector is subject to some of the highest tax rates in Europe.  


"A reduction in these taxes, including excise tax on drinks, should be among the core considerations for Government as we look towards Budget 2021. Reducing excise tax by 15% will help to put more money back in the business owner’s pocket meaning more money can be directly invested in keeping their doors open and saving their staff from unemployment.”  




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