Irish Bar “Fines” Customers For COVID Talk. We Like It.

Like many, the managers of The Alt Bar in Killea, Ireland were tired of all the COVID talk.

The publicans were joking with customers how Covid seems to be the only chat nowadays and pub goers agreed.

Speaking on Radio One, manager Conor McDevitt said: “No matter what they started talking about, it was back to the virus.

“So we just thought we’d try and bring in an atmosphere that people were talking about common things.

“It’s quite strange that people aren’t chatting about the weather in Ireland anymore.”

The bar instituted a two euro “fine” for anyone that mentions COVID while in the bar.

We like the idea.

It is understandable that COVID dominates conversations these days, but the owners wanted to get away from that. They wanted to try to recreate the atmosphere before the pandemic.

Hence the “fine.”

We are getting brilliant feedback and a few people, including a local councillor, who have been caught have taken it as it is – just a bit of craic.

“We know Covid-19 is still there and in no way are we saying the situation isn’t serious but we just want to have somewhere to go to escape from being reminded of the C-word.

“It was actually funny because after two years of talking about it, when we introduced the jar, there was silence. People didn’t really know what else to talk about initially.

“So we are back chatting about local issues, politics and global warming and just having the craic again.

“And if anyone gets caught – sure all the money goes to a good cause anyway and many people are even giving more than €2 or donating anyway because it all goes to charity.”

We didn’t know what “craic” is, but it is defined as:

“Craic” (/kræk/ KRACK), or “crack” is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.

All the money from the “fines” goes to a local hospice.

Management shared the news on their Facebook feed and set up an online fundraiser for others to join in.

They posted: “Due to the high volume of people/business that have started their own “COVID” jars to raise funds for Donegal hospice. We have set up this for them to pass the money they have raised.

“Anyone that thinks this is a brilliant idea and wishes to donate towards the Donegal Hospice can also use the link below.

“Most of us here in the alt (Conor, his mum Marie, Chris his uncle John, Rachel her aunty Breda and Oisin his grandad Patsy) know through experience what amazing work they do.

“We hope to raise as much as possible now for a great charity!”

We have to admit that we like this idea because it does force people away from the overwhelming topic in today’s world.

Like the pub’s owners, we know that the talk will generally come back to COVID, but just because COVID is out there doesn’t mean there are not other topics of conversations to be had. Whether it is sport, politics, weather, family, jobs, or whatever, it is a great idea to step back a little.

Even if that means paying a 2 euro fine to remember.

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