Sunday 24 September 2017

Government delay puts a dent in Dáil bar profits

The standard pint of Guinness is the best-selling alcoholic drink in the Dail bar. Stock Image
The standard pint of Guinness is the best-selling alcoholic drink in the Dail bar. Stock Image

Gordon Deegan

The long delay in forming a Government meant bad news for the bottom line at the Dáil bars and restaurants last year as profits slumped by 14pc.

Revenues and profits were hit by the State's political parties taking 70 days to form a new Government and longer summer holidays due to upgrading works at Leinster House.

According to new figures released in response to a Freedom of Information request, profits at the Dáil bars last year declined by 14.5pc from €111,699 to €95,555.

This followed revenues at the Dáil members' and visitors' bars decreasing by 4pc, going from €282,226 to €270,693.

Separate figures show the drop in activity at Leinster House resulted in the restaurants going into the red.

The figures show the restaurants recorded a loss of €30,830 compared to a profit of €95,746 - a negative swing of €126,576.

This followed revenues at the restaurants declining from €954,513 to €913,356.

A spokeswoman for the Houses of the Oireachtas said: "2016 was an unusual year and the fact that we had an election and it took some time for everything to get up and running would have impacted on the activity in the restaurant."

"Also, there were two agency staff employed during that year and these were paid for directly out of restaurant revenues and that would have had an impact too."

A factor behind the Dáil members' bar remaining in profit is the cut-price beer on offer there.

A pint of Heineken there sets you back €4.80 compared to €5.60 in a busy Dublin city centre pub. A humble pint of Guinness at the Dáil members' bar costs €4.40 compared to €5 at a nearby pub off Grafton Street.

Irish Independent

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