We are trying to get clarification and avoid confusion. One concern I have is the matter of people who are leasing a premises. By their nature, many restaurants and public houses are leased, and those people are seeking assurance and clarity on the licensing and implementation of the new regulations. The one bit of news I have for the Minister of State, not willing to burst the bubble on the outdoor dining scene, is that it is supposed to rain on Friday. While the sun might be shining down now, we really have to come back to the issue of indoor dining and when that will be allowed.
I have heard speakers raising many different issues this evening. I heard one Deputy in particular looking for more regulation of indoor dining at a time when we are not allowing it. That bamboozled me. It was confusing beyond belief to hear a Deputy seek to have further regulations imposed on people whose businesses have been shut for nearly a year and a half. Where that Deputy was getting that brainwave from I do not know but this is not a time to be putting further regulations on an industry and a practice that are not allowed at present.
As late as in the last hour, I have received phone calls, emails and text messages from people who are watching closely what is going on this evening. They have heard what Members said and they have seen politicians in this House speak out of both sides of their mouths, in that we have Government Deputies who are saying one thing on national radio, and on local radio in their constituencies, and saying another thing to reporters but when they come in here, it is like "The Silence of the Lambs". They are keeping their mouths shut, rowing in behind what the Government is saying and doing and blindly and loyally supporting the Government. They are not raising one question. That is why there is no one here to take Government slots when it comes to issues such as this. The reason is that Government Deputies do not want to say anything. They are speaking on the radio and everywhere else but not at all where it counts, namely, inside in this House. When it comes to voting, they will loyally and blindly support the Government. That is something I find hard to understand because they tell a different story to the individual business owners and representative organisations such as the Vintners Federation of Ireland, the Restaurants Association of Ireland or the small business owners who are so desperately affected and impacted by the decision that has been made in the past 24 hours. These people are really suffering.
The Rural Independent Group has been vocal and forthright in our statements about this issue. We had a press conference today on the plinth and Deputy Mattie McGrath made it clear where we all stand. When we are saying something we say it outside and inside this House. How can politicians be true to themselves when they support the decisions that have been made at the last minute in recent days? At the same time they think they can tell a different story to people in their constituencies, whether it is the workers or the business owners.
In the great town of Killarney, or any of the places I represent, such as Sneem, Waterville, Killorglin and Listowel, the people are desperately impacted in a negative way and they are doing their best. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle should have seen the effort that has been made in putting up outdoor facilities, including canopies, tables and chairs. These business owners are struggling and working so hard. I saw staff painting and decorating and putting together these chairs and tables. They were getting ready to open but it was all in the hope that this would be for a short time and then they would be able to move indoors on 5 July. The next thing was the rug was pulled from underneath them in such a cruel and hurried fashion.
Then there is the uncertainty of trying to tell people there will be a two-tier society in a couple of weeks' time if they get their act together. It will be a case of whether someone has the vaccine or not. I cannot see how anybody in the Government thinks they can ask a proprietor of a public house, restaurant or café to have somebody on guard at the door checking the people coming in to see who is vaccinated.