24.03.2020 – MEDIA STATEMENT

24th March 2020

Massive Job Losses and Irreversible Damage to a Key-Contributing Industry Being Ignored by the Government

Statement from Shane McGrath, Founding President of the Irish Weddings Industry Federation. 

The Irish Wedding Industry Federation (IWIF) has conveyed its dismay and nervousness that it’s pleas to Government have been largely ignored in relation to the catastrophe the industry is facing in the face of the Covid-19 Challenge. The IWIF has suggested a cost-effective industry-saving strategy to Government which has been more or less disregarded. the cost to the economy increases with each day that passes as part of an evolving situation that can be managed and minimised by the direct and immediate adoption of a strategy and proposal presented to the government by the IWIF on the 20th March.

“A concise proactive cooperation and adoption of the IWIF strategy from key-contributors to the shape of the industry are what is required to save the industry as a whole from the detrimental effects of Covid-19.”

The IWIF has sought an administration and marketing budget from the Department of Finance, from the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation and from the Department of Employment of Social Affairs. This strategy seeks to preserve contracts, save losses to include both businesses and customers. We also aim to create cohesiveness in the industry amongst our membership and establish a national understanding of the importance of the wedding industry as a key contributor to the exchequer.

Allowing consumers and businesses to shoulder losses is a practice that fails to address the key issue: The IWIF are trying to communicate this concept to government: the economic deficit generated by neglecting a key contributory industry and adding that labour force directly to the live register is substantial.

“The proposal to offset taxation, rates and PRSI to a later date will only serve to add to burden and pressures places on a fragile industry and its component player businesses. The IWIF Industry Contingency strategy should serve to save most of the value of the contracts that were in place for the 2020 summer season.”

Thousands of wedding businesses in Ireland have frozen their activities in the past two weeks and a facing a completely uncertain future. Any scenario in which a business must compulsorily freeze operations but continue to administer continuing costs and added liability is nonsensical. Covid19-related stresses are not simply going to vanish for the wedding industry at the end of May. From a trend-forecasting perspective, we believe the effects of Covid-19 are going to last well into the late summer and possibly much further.

Proactively tackling and accepting this most-likely scenario is the only way to proceed. This cannot be effectively undertaken without the communication, specific investment and the immediate & direct involvement of the Irish government.


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Media Queries:
Shane McGrath / Conor O’Byrne

0877888600 / 0870977451