SAVEOURPUBS - The Silver Swallow in Enniskillen
04 September 2020
The Silver Swallow has stood on Enniskillen’s Sligo Road for over a century- and for the last thirty of those years the pub has been under the ownership of the McNulty family.
It is a true, traditional family pub. Daily operations are taken care of by husband and wife Tom and Rita McNulty, along with their son Niall and his wife Claire.
“It is a community bar, we cater for both sides of the community”, says Tom, “we know every one of our customers by name- as well as our customers they are extremely good friends.”
Spend ten minutes on the phone with the elder Mr McNulty and you’ll have no choice but to like him. He is razor sharp, astute, but speaks in his thick accent with a warmth and passion that leaves you in no doubt that he means every word he’s saying.
“The volume of calls we’ve had from our regulars since we closed has been so gratifying.”
“But I fear that there’s been a lot of damage done to our pub. We have a very good, very loyal customer base, and I couldn’t hold it against people to visit other premises that have been open. It’s going to take a long time to get back to what we were doing before.”
He is a man who doesn’t like to sit still for too long, describing the past five months as a hard time for both him and his family.
“It hasn’t been good- at home all the time and not doing anything. The mental aspect has affected a lot of publicans. Morale and confidence has dropped quite a bit.”
“There are also still utility bills that we are liable for. Electricity, insurance, telephone, internet. It’s the running cost of the place, plus the loss of business.”
Looking at the establishments in his area which have been given the green light to open safely and responsibly, Mr Nulty’s ask is a simple one.
“Why can we not do as they do, and look after our customers the same way? I want nothing more than a level playing field.”
As Executive Ministers plan to engage with industry to sort out reopening of traditional pubs, Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality said:
“We have been informed that Junior Ministers Lyons and Kearney, who are overseeing Covid regulations, will sit down with us next week to sort out what regulations are needed to allow our traditional non-food serving pubs to reopen. We will be making the case in no uncertain terms that this engagement must urgently address the reopening of our pubs and not add further delay - as every day our pubs are closed is a day too long!”
“We’ve played our part for such a long time now that there needs to be a level of trust developed that the sector will do everything it needs to do to ensure the protection of public health against the spread of coronavirus.”