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Fury as cafes' water cut off at busiest time

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Bernard Robinson of Le Phare Coffee Shop, Lr. Abbey St.

Bernard Robinson of Le Phare Coffee Shop, Lr. Abbey St.

Luas works on Marlborough Street

Luas works on Marlborough Street

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Bernard Robinson of Le Phare Coffee Shop, Lr. Abbey St.

CAFES and restaurants in parts of Dublin city centre will have their water shut off for four-and-a-half hours during the morning rush tomorrow to allow for ongoing Luas works.

Businesses were only told yesterday morning that parts of Marlborough Street East and Lower Abbey Street will be without water from 6.30am until 11am.

Luas Cross City said it is trying to minimise the cut-off as much as possible, with works on the entire area due for completion on Sunday.

Bernard Robinson, the owner of Le Phare coffee shop in Lower Abbey Street, said he will be reduced to selling small items for takeaway during the shut off.

"We won't be able to make cappuccinos, we won't be able to use our dishwasher and we won't be able to make anything in our kitchen," he said.

"It's Christmas, it's busy and that's why I'm really angry. I just hope they finish it up in time. If it keeps going we certainly won't be able to get through lunch. It's just kind of a mess at the moment."

Mr Robinson said he would have been able to organise everything if the authorities had given him proper notice.

"I have from this afternoon until tomorrow night to get a plan in place to make sure I can do any business. It's a rush job now to try and sort everything out," he said yesterday.

"I will have to fill all the flasks the night before and we'll get by. We'll just serve black filter coffee and tea and do everything for take-away. It can be done, but I just don't see why we're paying for water and paying for this Luas through our taxes if they can't do this type of work outside of hours."

Mr Robinson said he asked the workers last Wednesday if they knew about the water disruption in advance and was told "it was a possibility".

"They told me they can't tell us about every possibility," he said.

"I don't understand why there was nobody looking at this and saying, 'If we're going to be turning off water for businesses we'll do it outside hours'.

"To turn off water voluntarily when they could do it at 2am, that's what annoys me. We could have all woken up the next morning none the wiser.

commitment

"There's obviously a cost issue because of overtime and working people at night."

Luas Cross City communications director Grainne Mackin said the work was not undertaken at night because the company had given a commitment to be off the street by December 7, and tomorrow was the earliest crews could be scheduled to attend.

"It was an unforeseen piece of work we identified on Marlborough Street. We started informing businesses as soon as we identified the issue," she said.

hnews@herald.ie


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