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‘Pubs may never recover from coronavirus’

Pubs in Strabane may never be back in business again, claimed one local publican. 
 
Several pubs in Strabane recently made the difficult decision to close their doors until at least March 29 amid coronavirus fears.
 
Just last night, it was announced that all pubs, clubs and restaurants must close their doors.
 
The Harp and Fiddle, Joe’s Bar, Christy’s and The Railway were among the bars in the town which closed until further notice. 
 
Raymond Barr of Christy’s says the implications of the closure are massive, and some pubs may struggle to reopen when things begin to return to normal.
 
“The vintners had a meeting to discuss the situation and we decided that we would close up.
 
“My mind was made up when across the border announced that they were closing bars and restaurants. It is extremely important to put staff and customers first.”
 
He continued, “The closure is going to cause severe problems.”
 
“There is none of us too sure whether we will ever be back in business again.
 
“It is a duty of care to staff and customers and the events over the last few days have proved that this was the right decision to make.”
 
Some pubs in Strabane voluntarily closed ahead of the busiest day of the year and it was a very different St Patrick’s day for both pub owners and customers. 
 
“I have spent 17 St Patrick’s Day in the bar and each one was phenomenal,” Mr Barr continued.
 
“It was surreal on Tuesday. Me and my wife went for a drive just to get out of the house. In times I was in tears, no mistake about it. 
 
“I don’t know what the next week or month holds for businesses and everything has to be put on the back burner. Human life and safety is paramount.
 
“This is a situation that we have never seen before.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 4 Castle Street, Strabane, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT82 8AB