Guinness have pledged to donate €1.2 million to support bar staff across Ireland who have been hit by the pub closures brought about the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 7,000 pubs have been closed in Ireland since 15 March, which has left up to 50,000 people without work.
Now Guinness owners Diageo have announced they are taking measures to support people working in the industry.
Oliver Loomes, Country Director of Diageo Ireland said, “We have been supporting the licensed trade in the last week through what is an unprecedented period as we all work together to keep people safe through the closure of licensed premises across the country.
“Today we are announcing an additional support of €1.5 million, including €1.2 million to bar staff, and we will be working with our partners in the trade, The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) and Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI), on how we can support bar staff to maximum effect using this funding in what is a very fast-moving situation.”
Diageo is also pledging €300,000 to support the elderly and vulnerable people within the community. They have partnered with the charity ALONE which runs a befriending service.
They are also asking their staff members to pledge some time to ALONE’s befriending service.
Sean Moynihan, CEO of ALONE said: “Guinness have been supporting us for over three years in a bid to address social isolation, but it’s now that we need this most.
“Today’s news of an additional €300,000 is going to make a significant impact. This support will help us to continue to provide vital services to older people who need additional support and are experiencing increased social isolation at this time.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 we have been receiving a huge volume of phone calls to our helpline from older people all over Ireland and delivering support seven days a week to those who need it.”
Donall O’Keeffe, CEO of the LVA said: “These are unprecedented times and it’s important that we pull together and show solidarity among the bar community.
“In addition, the funding for services for older people is much needed and builds on the partnership that we already have in place with ALONE and Guinness addressing isolation among our elderly community.”
To find out more about ALONE, or to make a donation, visit their website here.