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Sunday 22 October 2017

Restaurants want water tankers to ease cuts crisis

Eamonn O'Reilly: forced to close his packed restaurant
Eamonn O'Reilly: forced to close his packed restaurant

Nicola Anderson and Paul Melia

AT least one restaurateur has already lost over €5,000 in revenue due to ongoing water shortages in the capital.

Business owners furious at being "abandoned" by Dublin City Council have now called for emergency measures, which would allow the Civil Defence to bring tankers of water from outlying districts into Dublin city.

Eamonn O'Reilly, chef and proprietor of award-winning One Pico off Molesworth Street, had to close his packed restaurant on Friday night after his water ran out at 8.30pm, leading to a loss of revenue of around €3,500.

The following day, driven to desperation, Mr O'Reilly hired a water tanker to drive from Tipperary – a service that, along with water-engineering experts, cost €1,887.80.

The restaurant owner told Adrian Cummins, chief executive of the Restaurants' Association of Ireland, that he had lost €5,387.80 so far as a direct result of the water shortages.

Mr O'Reilly managed to get in touch with someone from Dublin City Council's water department to inform him that the water was still not returning to the tank, even after it had been turned back on.

The staff member said he would organise a water tanker to come down and fill the tank of the restaurant but this never happened and nobody from the council was in touch to say that they would not be coming, which Mr O'Reilly described as "the most annoying thing of all".

UNACCEPTABLE

Mr Cummins said restaurateurs had been "abandoned" by Dublin City Council over the entire weekend since nobody was manning the phones at the customer service helpline since 5pm on Friday.

"The business community pays dearly for water and we have been completely abandoned. This is unacceptable," he said. "Emergency measures must be activated for the Civil Defence to come in with tankers of water for the city community, otherwise we're going nowhere," said Mr Cummins.

The council said it was "working around the clock" to solve the water shortage problem, which has left 1.5 million people and thousands of businesses without water for four nights.

A council spokesman said restrictions would remain in place until next Thursday.

The council has cut off supplies to Dublin and parts of Wicklow, Meath and Kildare.

It is the second time this year the Dublin region has been hit by water rationing, after supplies were either cut off or seriously reduced at night seven months ago due to an algae bloom and leaks from pipes due to a cold snap.

Irish Independent

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