The Vintners Federation of Ireland has said publicans need 'cash' not loans or sympathy, as its Chief Executive says pubs are not resigned to staying closed and want to find a way to re-open safely.

Pádraig Cribben told Morning Ireland that the signals from Tánaiste Leo Vardakar suggest a re-opening of pubs this year is becoming less likely and a suggestion pubs will become a national sacrifice "is certainly worrying".

Mr Cribben said the VFI had met with the Government this week and asked to reopen in a safe and secure manner.

He said publicans want 'cash' rather than loans or sympathy with ongoing bills since March.

He said as they remain closed there is limited value to re-start grants, VAT cuts and other measures that have been put in place.

Mr Cribben said publicans have asked that a cash grant system be put in place and have given a formula to Government to propose how.

They have asked that the PUP and TWSS are kept at the current level and extended to over 66s.

They are also seeking an extension of current licenses that are due to expire next month to September 2021.

He said many publicans are in dire straits and there will be some closures.