Twelve months since they were trading normally publican’s everywhere have long  since stopped feeling the pinch and are now suffering the squeeze, financially, mentally, emotionally, indeed one of them has even taken to singing about the fact his boozer is beerless.

Up in Beauparc meanwhile, the faces behind Mckeevers Bar and lounge, like thousands of other small pubs across the country are coming to terms with the stark reality it could well be this time next year before they will be pulling the pints for their regulars.

Avril McKeever admits that since the state of the nation address by Varadkar closing down Eire plc, this time last year, things have changed and yet there have been happy moments as well.

Right from the start, Avril insisted she would not open unless it was safe to do so, and she had one special reason for playing by the rules.

‘Mammy had just turned 93 her birthday falls on St. Patrick’s Day, and for her sake alone I wasn’t taking any chances. She’s now 94, who would have thought it. but the reality has hit home just the same, we have had a full year lost to business, a full year of the regulars not having their normal way of living and basically, everything’s changed

‘Hopefully, we will be back when the time is right we have to see it through. There have been high points.

‘Christmas was so special, it was the first time in our lives we were able to celebrate it as family.

‘We never had that time to ourselves before and we did have a great time as a family. So that was new for us, the simple things that many take for granted.

‘Christmas is always a busy time and the publican never really gets time with the family. We did through Covid so it did give us something we never had before, so we appreciated what we had.

‘Since Christmas, though it has been tough on all of us, this lock down has been the hardest. Maybe it’s the fact it’s through the winter the dark cold nights.I don’t know but it has been really hard on us.

‘I suppose we have run out of patience or it has just got to us but we have to keep going and look forward to getting open again.

It’s a fine spring day, the sun is shining and the McKeevers women are in good spirits.

It’s been tough but their spirit hasn’t been broken.