Joe Duffy 'ill-informed' over claims Dublin city is an 'unadulterated kip'
JOE Duffy's comments that Dublin is a "kip" are "completely ill-informed", according to a group promoting business in the city centre.
Richard Guiney, of the Dublin Town group, said that Mr Duffy should not be using "glib sound bites" to express his views on the city.
His reaction comes after Duffy went into a rage on his Liveline show yesterday to highlight what he sees as a deterioration in the quality of shopping choice in his native Dublin city. During his outburst Duffy branded Dublin an "unadulterated kip".
Duffy claimed that the city was dying due to the closure of many landmark retail establishments.
"The city is being turned into pound shops, banks are now housing fast-food restaurants," he said.
"Go around to Parnell Street; Peat's Electronics is now dead - a liquidation store is now there for Clerys."
But Mr Guiney leapt to the defence of the city.
His organisation was formerly known as Dublin City's Business Improvement District - a not-for-profit group charged with creating a welcoming and economically-viable city environment.
It is a collective of 2,500 businesses in the city centre and works with partners to enhance the appeal of the city centre as the place for shopping, recreation and business development by increasing footfall and improving overall trading performance.
"Joe Duffy's comments are completely ill-informed and he is presenting opinion as fact," Mr Guiney told the Herald.
"It is very irresponsible and not useful. In the last four years vacancy rates in the city have dropped from 15.5pc to 9pc, and we have an extra 1,500 restaurant seats since 2013 alone," Mr Guiney added.
"All the guide books are recommending Dublin as a must-see destination and the level of investment in shops, infrastructure and transport are all up.
"Dubliners are now voting with their feet and coming back into the city, and we will see stores like Guiney's and Clerys redeveloped in time."
While Mr Guiney conceded that it would be nice to see Clerys open again on O'Connell Street, he said it would in time produce jobs and opportunities.
He did not agree with the assertion that the city was becoming over populated with pound shops and fast-food outlets.
"There are big brands like Massimo Dutti, Kath Kidson and Mango now in the city and the quality shopping experience continues to grow," he said.