Impact of Flag Protests
15 January 2013
Following a meeting between the Northern Ireland Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers MP and representatives of the local hospitality sector regarding the impact of the on-going flag protests, Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster, said:
“Today’s meeting with the Secretary of State was an opportunity for us to voice our concerns, and the concerns of the wider hospitality sector, over the impact the on-going flag protests are having on business.
“Whilst it’s not for any of us to comment on the issue itself, it is vital that we address the effect on our economy. Pubs have been feeling the impact and over the last number of weeks, trade has been down by 30% to 40%, with one publican suffering a 54% drop in trade last week alone. Most worryingly however, one publican has reported a staggering £60,000 loss since the protests began; a loss that is likely to cause irreparable damage to his business.
“It is clear that the situation is now critical. Fears of closures and job losses are fast becoming a reality, with some pubs not expected to make it to the end of January. It is clear that the industry cannot take much more. We hope that today’s meeting demonstrates that urgent action needs to be taken to get our economy back on track and to save jobs.”