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No help for water crisis restaurants

RESTAURANTS affected by the ongoing water crisis will not be compensated, Dublin City Council has warned.

Senior engineer Michael Phillips has said that the issue of financial compensation for businesses "will not arise" but he admitted that the cause of the problem is not yet known.

Mr Phillips said restaurants in the capital should have 24-hour storage of water in place and that a compensation deal is not on the table.

"There is, and regrettably, there will always be parts of society that will suffer. But even some of the private householders that will be on the high grounds have suffered just as badly as the restaurants," he said.



"But you haven't heard much from those people because they have said, 'Well it's a difficulty and we'll put up for it'."

"But the restaurants, when you think of it, we are only closing down their water supply from 8pm to midnight effectively," he added on RTE's Morning Ireland.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland said at least two of its 400 members had no option but to turn away customers.

Chief executive Adrian Cummins criticised council officials for failing to keep them informed.

He explained: "My members are asking should they stop paying their water charges, or a portion of their charges, and there's no crisis management in place."

Meanwhile, he said it was "looking very positive" that full production will be restored by Thursday morning.

Mr Phillips claimed "lessons had been learned" in terms of communicating better and that these lessons will be "taken on board".

However, although the situation may be close to conclusion, he said engineers and chemists have not yet identified the source of all of the problems at this point.

His comments come following last night's tense Dublin City Council meeting where it was claimed that the capital is "lurching" from one water crisis to the next,

Councillors hit out at officials for their "lack of communication" and warned of future water crises.

At a heated meeting, city manager Owen Keegan said there was still some way to go despite levels at the regional treated water storage plant increasing slightly.



He explained: "Water storage levels across the region have stabilised, with some increase over the last two days.

"However, they are still well below the levels that would be normally considered prudent at this time of year, especially coming into the winter months."

Fianna Fail Councillor Paul McAuliffe argued that water management seemed to "lurch from one crisis to another".

Nightly cut-offs have been in place since last week between 8pm and 7am in Dublin and parts of Wicklow, Kildare and Meath.