An Irish bar owner in Washington DC is taking on extra shifts as a DC cop after he was forced to close his two pubs due to Coronavirus.

Mark Kirwan, from County Tipperary, is helping to enforce lockdown in the US capital and says working the beat has never been busier. 

"We've had a huge issue with crowd control. Unfortunately, the general population hasn't taken heed regarding what they should and shouldn't be doing in relation to the coronavirus," he told RTÉ News.

"A lot of manpower is being deployed on the streets trying to disperse crowds that have gathered."

Kirwan said that a lot of police officers are worried about contracting the virus and said that they didn't have the choice to stay at home. 

"The biggest fear for every first responder is your own health. We don't have the luxury of staying at home." 

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Kirwan has more time on his hands to assist the Metropolitan Police Department to enforce lockdown since his other source of income has been almost completely decimated. 

The Tipperary man owns two bars - Kirwans on the Wharf in DC and Samuel Beckett's in Arlington, Virginia. 

Like so many bars in Ireland and the US, both have been forced to close their doors during the COVID-19 pandemic and Kirwan was forced to temporarily let more than 100 staff go. 

He said that it was extremely difficult to tell his staff that they didn't have a job anymore. 

"It was very difficult for me to face the employees, not just to tell them that I had to lay them off, but also not being able to tell them when they could come back," Kirwan said. 

The Tipperary man actually made the decision to close his two pubs in the early stages of the Coronavirus crisis on March 16. 

"We just wanted to make sure that our patrons and staff are safe, but it's been devastating financially. 

Kirwan's two bars are still providing take out and delivery services to keep the business afloat during the crisis and he says that a number of his colleagues in law enforcement have boosted his business during these difficult weeks. 

He has also been supplying local hospitals and police stations with free meals to thank everyone working on the frontlines. 

Kirwan said that he hopes it will boost business when the crisis is over and that a "tsunami" of customers will visit his two establishments. 

"We're trying to give something back to the community and also let them know that we're still here so that when we do open the doors again they'll come back."

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