Monday, June 01, 2020

By Carmel Hayes

A LAOIS joinery firm is working flat out as it installs Covid-19 protective screens, snugs and partitions in pubs all over the country, including Portlaoise.

As pubs prepare to reopen on 10 August, the Teamwoodcraft company in Ballybrittas is in huge demand, as it retrofits more than 20 pubs with medical-grade partitions. Orders are also coming from across the world, as other nations prepare to emerge from lockdown.

Screens sprayed with medical-grade laquer are being erected around bar counters, while partitions will allow customers to practise social distancing even on a sociable night out.

O’Gorman’s bar in Kilminchy, Portlaoise (pictured below) is among the Irish pubs getting partitions and medical-grade screens erected. The large bar will have 15 snugs when it reopens to the public in August.

The Portlaoise pub will even have traffic lights for the toilets when it reopens. A traffic light sensory system is being installed, which will control the numbers using pub toilets. A red light will indicate when the toilets are full and a green light will give the go-ahead, to prevent people hanging around in the corridor queuing for toilets.

As pubs, restaurants, hotels and other businesses try to overcome the huge losses caused by lockdown, it’s hoped that the specialist partitions will encourage more people to come out and feel safe, while they enjoy drinks or a meal and support the hard-hit hospitality trade.

Teamwoodcraft in Ballybrittas is already well-known for master fit-outs in businesses and homes, with previous projects that include the 5-star Ballyfin House in Laois.

With specialist expertise in architectural joinery, the company is particularly known for traditional Irish pub fit-outs that can be found around the world in the USA, Canada, China, Russia, Europe and even Mauritius.

As pubs, cafés and restaurants prepare to emerge from months of lockdown, the company founded in 1998 has another area of enterprise, with its timely new product range of medical-grade partitions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.


Liam Hurley, founder and master craftsman with Laois firm Team Woodcraft

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