'We're worried and feel vulnerable', say staff at city's jewellery stores
Dublin businesses are facing a bill of some €2m to cover additional security costs as a result of the garda industrial dispute.
Retailers along with pubs and restaurants have opted to bring on extra staff amid fears that the suspected skeletal gardai numbers will leave them vulnerable.
Industry sources estimated that the cost to businesses will run to around €2m - which will multiply if strikes planned for every Friday this month come to pass.
However, any potential losses to businesses due to people avoiding the city centre because of a dearth of gardai on the streets, was too difficult to estimate, according to business leaders.
The unprecedented industrial action and its impact on the city's economy will only become clear today.
Despite the industrial dispute, Dublin Town, a business representative organisation has insisted the "city will remain open for business". Pearse Street and Store Street will be open and will be responding to calls made to guards from both members of the public and our members," CEO Richard Guiney said. However he added that businesses were keen to see "the earliest possible resolution" to the dispute.
Adrian Cummins, of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), said some firms had decided to have late-night security on call.
However, he said that the RAI could see why gardai were forced to take such an historic stance and said the RAI supported them.
"We do have sympathy for the guards... they are, in my opinion, underpaid," he said. This comes as a co-owner of a Dublin city centre jewellery shop, robbed at gunpoint in 2013, said he was "tempted to close" for today.
Co-owner Philip Ryan, of Greenes jewellers on Aungier Street, said the garda dispute was "not good" and "I'd be tempted to close the shop but, we won't".
Mr Ryan added: "It's one of those things, we are lucky there are four guys here and we will all be on our special guard today. We also have increased security. It is worrying for everyone, but business has to carry on."
A nearby gem shop worker said: "We are a small jewellers so we are very concerned.
"I do have every sympathy but I feel vulnerable because criminals will be planning targets because they know they will have much more freedom to get away with crime."