Publicans across the region will partake in the ‘Keep the Lights On’ campaign which see pubs across the country simultaneously switch on their Christmas lights at 5pm this evening.

The Vintner’s Federation of Ireland is one of the organisers of the initiative which aims to highlight the readiness for pubs to reopen safely over the festive season.

Mellett’s Emporium in Swinford features in the national campaign and one of their bartending staff has given her personal experience on how the Covid-19 restrictions have affected her life.

Aoife McDonnell has worked in Mellett's for the past two and a half years and she was forced to put her dream of doing a Master's on hold due to a loss of income following the closure of the pubs sector.

She filmed an emotional video message on the Vintner's Federation of Ireland's Facebook page ahead of tonight's event.

Aoife McDonnell told Midwest News that she wants to get back to work safely this Christmas, providing public health advice allows it.

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