Broadcaster Joe Duffy rants on live radio: 'Dublin is an unadulterated kip... the city is being turned into pound shops'
An angered Joe Duffy launched a rant about Dublin city on Liveline today.
The Dublin native described the city as an "unadulterated kip," and he claimed that the city is dying due to the closure of many landmark retail establishments across Dublin's city centre.
"The city is being turned into pound shops, banks are now housing fast-food restaurants," Duffy told RTE Liveline listeners today.
"Go around to Parnell Street; Peat's Electronics is now dead - a liquidation store is now there for Clery's."
Duffy launched the attack this afternoon as businesses in the south Dublin suburb Dun Laoghaire rang the show to say they are struggling to pay their rates.
Business Improvement District initiative (BID) in the Dun Laoghaire district has begun a five-year initiative to attract more businesses to the area and secure along-term sustainable model for the management of the town.
However, many business owners called the show to express their disapproval of the initiative, claiming it's unfair that they are expected to pay annual BID fees in addition to the rates they pay to the local council.
Those who don't pay their BID fees are being threatened with being listed in the Stubbs Gazette. It is understood that around 200 traders in Dun Laoghaire received warning letters from Stubbs on behalf of Dun Laoghaire Council from the semi-state body, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), for non-payment of an additional €200 levy on their rates.
Derek Bennett, owner of 'Harry's Cafe Bar' claimed on Liveline that he suffered seven difficult years in the 11 years that his business has been in operation and he is not in a position to pay his BID fees.
"I'm already behind with my rates. I have arrangements in place with the Revenue. I got no word from anyone in BID and now I get a Stubbs letter," he said.
Another caller claimed the BID initiative won't improve the fortunes of local businesses.
Spokesman for BID, Don McManus, implored the people of Dun Laoghaire to embrace the project and give it a chance.
"The majority of people pay less than €200 per annum," he said.
"I promise to all the rate players that this will make a difference. In five years if it doesn't work, we don't do it again. It's a democratic process, pure and simple.