Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 30 June 2020
Special Committee on Covid-19 Response
Impact of Covid-19: Hospitality Sector
I welcome our guests in committee room 1. They are from the Vintners Federation of Ireland, VFI, Mr. Padraig Cribben, chief executive, and Mr Padraig McGann, president; from the Irish Hotels Federation, IHF, Mr. Tim Fenn, chief executive, and Ms Elaina Fitzgerald Kane, president; from the Restaurants Association of Ireland, RAI, Mr. Adrian Cummins, chief executive; and Mr. Jim Power, economist.
I wish to advise witnesses that by virtue of section 17(2)(l) of the Defamation Act 2009, witnesses are protected by absolute privilege in respect of their evidence to this committee. If witnesses are directed by the committee to cease giving evidence on a particular matter and they continue to so do, they are entitled thereafter only to a qualified privilege in respect of their evidence. They are directed that only evidence connected with the subject matter of these proceedings is to be given and they are asked to respect the parliamentary practice to the effect that, where possible, they should not criticise or make charges against any person, persons or entity by name or in such a manner as to make him, her or it identifiable. We expect witnesses to answer questions clearly and with candour. However, witnesses can and should expect to be treated fairly and with respect and consideration at all times. I ask them to bring any concerns they may have in that regard to my attention and that of the committee immediately.
I invite Mr. Cribben to make his opening remarks. I ask him to confine them to five minutes.