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Dail rival 'is unfair', says cafe owner

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Carol Treacy outside her Kildare Street Shop. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Carol Treacy outside her Kildare Street Shop. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Carol Treacy outside her Kildare Street Shop. Photo: Gerry Mooney

THE taxpayer has been saved from putting thousands more euro into a loss-making Dail coffee shop thanks to tough talk from the owner of a nearby cafe.

Leinster House chiefs called off plans to sink an additional €70,000 into the business which cost €1.3m to set up.

Located in the grounds of Leinster House, it has been described as "the dearest little shop in town". Despite its tiny size, it cost €1,280,867 when it opened in 2008.

Losses for the first six months of last year were €23,000.

Now Carole Treacy, who owns the Petit Cafe across the road from the Dail, has delivered a broadside against Leinster House.

As the owner of "a small independent coffee shop" operating opposite Government Buildings she sent a letter to Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett and Oireachtas members.

"It (my shop) has survived the worst recession since 1929," she said.

She argued that it is "extraordinarily unfair and unbalanced" that she would now be expected to compete with a shop that had "access to taxpayers' money of up to €70,000" to pay for a proposed renovation.

Other small businesses do not have the luxury of availing of taxpayers' money by way of getting financial help from the Office of Public Works (OPW).

"It isn't the job of the Oireachtas to go into competition with SMEs in the area," she said.

Ms Treacy also suggested the Dail coffee shop would be better used as "a media interview area or waiting room for tours".

The matter will be discussed by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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