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Sunday 25 June 2017

'We should be compensated' - Shop owner claims he's lost up to €30k due to road works

Road works causing chaos

Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

A business owner is calling for compensation to be paid by his local county council due to "significant" losses suffered by lengthy road works.

Ger Dunne, who runs a popular newsagents in Co Laois, says his business has seriously declined over the past two months.

Road works are being carried out by the council in the town of Mountmellick and Mr Dunne says he has lost up to €30,000 in income since the works began.

Due to parts of the road being sealed off throughout the two month period, Mr Dunne says customers have stopped coming into his shop.

The view from inside Ger Dunne's shop while the works were being carried out
The view from inside Ger Dunne's shop while the works were being carried out

He is now calling for businesses in the area to receive some compensation for the losses they have experienced.

"Between the recession and everything else, it has been a tough battle to keep going. But now, I can't get a delivery in, I'm being told my rates are increasing and I've lost nearly €30,000," Mr Dunne told Independent.ie.

"I may never recover from this. I'm doing my best out there to compete, I've moved with the times and kept up with changing trends, but this is a bridge too far for me."

Mr Dunne claims the council never notified him about when the works were beginning, or how long they would last for.

The six inch trench which was dug outside his shop
The six inch trench which was dug outside his shop

The main street in Mountmellick was completely resurfaced and he says there was a six inch trench outside his shop, Emmet Stores,  for long periods.

"This shop has been in the town for 80 years, it is a landmark, but people are coming into me asking how am I managing to keep going."

At a recent Municipal District meeting, Cllr David Goodwin (FG) claimed that the roadworks went on so long due to "lads drinking tea and looking at holes," the Leinster Express reported.

In a statement to Independent.ie, a spokesman for the council responded: "Civil works started on 16/01/2017 and completed on 14/03/2017. Contractor may return for 1 or 2 days to carryout snagging work. We do not have exact dates at this time. 

"These works needed to be carried out to improve safety at this section of the road. This section of road was open/ accessible for traffic and public during the road works. These works are no different than any other road works carried out throughout the county.

"The roads section does not offer any compensation to business for these type road works. We do liaise with locals and try to reduce the impact due to road works as much as practically possible."

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