herald

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Cancel weekend water cut-offs, publicans urge Irish Water

LVA chief executive Donall O'Keeffe
LVA chief executive Donall O'Keeffe

Dublin publicans have urged Irish Water not to impose water restrictions over the weekend amid fears it will impact on the city's night-time economy.

The Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), which has 600 members across the city, said it was "very concerned" that widespread cut-offs would affect the ability of pubs and nightclubs to stay open, adding weekends were their busiest time.

"We're very concerned about the potential impact on pubs and the wider night-time economy," LVA chief executive Donall O'Keeffe said.

"Pubs are very significant bill-payers, and we hope Irish Water will continue to provide water. We think they should review those restrictions over the weekend in particular.

"The trade is not too busy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and we think most pubs will get through. For Thursday and into the weekend, closing times are later. The late bar scene goes later, and will need water until 3am for clean-up.

"The bulk of the business is done late at night and we need water to operate. We've very concerned about the impact."

Night-time restrictions were introduced across Dublin and Wicklow last night, affecting 40pc of properties and around 500,000 customers.

Restrictions

They will remain in place all this week from 10pm to 5am, as part of efforts to replenish water stores. If the drought continues, further restrictions into the day-time may be required.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has urged the utility to provide water tankers in the event of cut-offs.

Chief executive Adrian Cummins said businesses would "find it hard", and he expected some to stockpile water during the day to avoid shortages during evening service.

"This needs a small bit of common sense, where you would try and provide tankers to customers," he said.

"If you have a business where the kitchen is on the third floor, they will have a difficulty."

Some 39 supplies are currently under restriction across 12 counties. Irish Water said it did not expect to have supply issues that would require tankers to be deployed, but said any customer with issues should make contact on 1850 278 278.

The Irish Hotels Federation said the majority of hotels would not be affected, as many had capacity for two days' storage.

"Hotels are also making guests aware of the extra need to conserve water at this time," it added.

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