The Forge Italian Restaurant in Castlebridge, Co Wexford announced in October that it would not be implementing the mandatory vaccine passport system that the Irish Government has introduced for indoor hospitality.
" I wanted to remind everyone that we will never stay with fascism. Only in Hitler's time could they ask for a pass," restaurant owner Luigi Perri said on Facebook.
Perri said on Facebook that several HSE Compliance Officers have visited his restaurant since its reopening to ensure that vaccine certificates were being checked.
He added that the restaurant has been served with a Direction Order to comply with the vaccine passport and said that he faces a day in court over the issue.
Perri is aiming to raise €100,000 on GoFundMe to help cover his legal costs and said that he will not be implementing vaccine checks at his restaurant.
"We have worked tirelessly as a family to get where we are now and refuse to be dictated to about who we can and cannot allow into our restaurant. We refuse to discriminate against people and to comply with an unjust law," he said in a statement last month.
"We as a family take great pride in our restaurant. We provide a sanctuary from this harsh new world and will not engage in any law requiring a patron to show papers."
The restaurant recently claimed that the fascism of 1930s Italy was being repeated in Ireland today.
"The Green Pass is optional, as it was in the years of Fascism. It was not compulsory, but without it, you could not work, attend university, use public services, etc. but it was optional, it wasn't compulsory."
The years of fascism in Italy. HISTORY IS REPEATED. The Green Pass is optional, as it was in the years of Fascism. It...Posted by The Forge Italian Restaurant pizzeria on Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Perri revealed that his restaurant has lost a number of customers over the decision to not check vaccine passports but said that it has gained dozens of new customers over the decision as well.
The online fundraiser has raised more than €14,000 of its €100,000 goal to date.