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Owner of Eileen’s Bar arrested for operating pub in violation of COVID-19 rules

Donal Byrne, owner of Eileen’s Bar, in Aghamore, County Mayo, has been arrested for opening a bar in protest of a government decision not to allow pubs to open. Mr. Byrne alleges that the decision to close the pubs was short-sighted.

He did not open the pub in secret, but instead broke the law after he revealed his intention to open the pub in several media outlets. Only those who test negative for COVID-19 will be admitted to the pub. However, one person was arrested by Gardai and the names of other patrons were recorded.

He believes that there is a “gaping hole in these regulations and I want to fix it.” He said the testing facility would be set up outside to get results within 15 minutes, and those who are COVID negative would be able to enter the pub.

“We are only open to regulars and we will offer them the safest way to enjoy a pint in Ireland,” he said. COVID-19 will be examined by medical professionals at the pub every day from 5 to 7 pm. If someone is found to be negative they will be allowed to enter. Anyone entering the pub must adhere to social distancing, the wearing of masks and hand-sanitising. Only a maximum of 20 people are allowed inside – Mr. Byrne said.

Mr. Byrne said he was prepared to face the consequences of the decision to reopen the pub. “The gardaí are safer calling to my premises than they are calling to a house party because everyone in my premises will have been Covid-tested,” said Mr Byrne. However, Garda closed the pub without accepting any of his arguments.

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