Guinness has announced the establishment of a €1.5 million fund to provide support to communities affected by COVID-19 in Ireland.

The fund, first announced on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, will see €1.2 million go to support bar staff and €300,000 to elderly vulnerable people through a partnership with the Irish charity ALONE. 

We’re pledging our support to those communities affected by Covid-19 in Ireland, in partnership with the @LVADublinPubs, @VFIpubs and @ALONE_IRELAND. pic.twitter.com/GiwH1GWoEi

— Guinness Ireland (@GuinnessIreland) March 17, 2020

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The announcement is part of a wider initiative which will see Guinness and Diageo pledge in the region of €3 million globally to communities and the bar trade, with similar funds in the US and UK. This includes £1 million to support bartenders in the free trade across Great Britain.

Oliver Loomes, Country Director of Diageo Ireland said on March 17: “We have been supporting the licensed trade in the last week through what is an unprecedented period as we all work together to keep people safe through the closure of licensed premises across the country.

“Today we are announcing an additional support of €1.5 million, including €1.2 million to bar staff, and we will be working with our partners in the trade, The Licensed Vintners Association and Vintners' Federation of Ireland (VFI),  on how we can support bar staff to maximum effect using this funding in what is a very fast-moving situation.”

Donall O'Keeffe, CEO, Licensed Vintners Association said “These are unprecedented times and it’s important that we pull together and show solidarity among the bar community. In addition, the funding for services for older people is much needed and builds on the partnership that we already have in place with ALONE and Guinness addressing isolation among our elderly community”.

Padraig Cribben, VFI Chief Executive, said: “With the closure of pubs around the country in a bid to protect their local communities, it reminds us of the importance of looking out for each other through these most challenging times.”

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Sean Moynihan, CEO of the Irish charity ALONE said: “Guinness have been supporting us for over three years in a bid to address social isolation, but it’s now that we need this most. Today’s news of an additional €300,000 is going to make a significant impact. This support will help us to continue to provide vital services to older people who need additional support and are experiencing increased social isolation at this time.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been receiving a huge volume of phone calls to our helpline from older people all over Ireland and delivering support seven days a week to those who need it. This will enable us to continue to deliver and expand these much-needed services.”

In addition to its €300,000 pledged to ALONE, Guinness is also asking staff members to pledge time to support the charity’s Befriending service.

Absolutely wonderful support from @GuinnessIreland. This will help us to continue to provide vital services to older people who need additional support and are experiencing increased social isolation at this time. Thank you. https://t.co/zLvo9YcKB4

— ALONE Ireland (@ALONE_IRELAND) March 17, 2020

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