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Waterford councillor calls for immediate pub and restaurant closure for three weeks

A WATERFORD councillor who is a publican in West Waterford has called for an immediate lockdown of pubs, nightclubs, restaurants for three weeks - to ensure safe opening for Christmas.

Seamus O'Donnell, Independent councillor in An Rinn/Old Parish, said the Covid situation in West Waterford is "fairly bad" currently and he fears if there is no lockdown now countrywide, hospitality will be "closed for the winter".

Speaking on Deise Today, the councillor said many people - elderly people in particular - are currently too afraid to go into pubs and restaurants because of the high rate of the virus.

He said this is also a quiet month for hospitality so a closure now might best ensure a safe Christmas.

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"I closed down (my pub) for 10 days over a week ago but sure it's no use myself doing it if the rest don't close down," he told Damien Tiernan this morning (Tuesday).

"In Dungarvan, I've done as few spot checks of my own in supermarkets. I see people going in with no masks, there is no checking on doors and the majority of those people have gone outside the country."

"It's only for people's own safety. I'm only expressing what I think myself," he said, adding he thinks that a Christmas lockdown now seems a real possibility for everyone.

Seamus O'Donnell said he was struck by the numbers present at this past weekend's Ireland v New Zealand rugby match and has real concerns about the way the virus is spreading.

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He said he did believe that nightclubs were also a big problem, with high numbers of young people out socialising.

"I don't blame young people but I would advise them all to get the vaccine to stay safe," he added.

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