‘A huge weight has been lifted from publicans’

‘I didn’t realise how much I wasn’t enjoying my work until the first night without restrictions. I was like a different person behind the bar without all the extra pressure’

Anouska O’Grady Lohan, who runs the popular Ned’s Bar in Knockcroghery with her husband Richard, and is the Chairperson of County Roscommon branch of Vintners Federation of Ireland, says the lifting of restrictions has relieved the pressure on publicans.

  “It felt as though a huge weight was lifted from us. I don’t think we actually realised just how much pressure we were under until they were gone,” she said.

  “It was great just to have the customers back sitting at the counter and not having to be running around after people for Covid certs and making sure they were seated and in groups of six”.

  While praising customers and staff for their efforts in adhering to restrictions over the past two years, Anouska said the guidelines added further pressure when it came to running a pub.

  “I also didn’t realise how much I wasn’t enjoying my work until the first night without restrictions. I was like a different person behind the bar without all the extra pressure,” she said.

  “We were adhering to all the guidelines because we had to. It was our responsibility to keep staff and customers safe. Having said that, I really don’t think one publican in the country enjoyed the last two years. It was extremely tough but spring has arrived and hopefully it’s a case of ‘onwards and upwards’ from now on!”