Water crisis cost us €5k, says city chef

Cormac Murphy

NEW Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan will face a grilling tonight over the capital's ongoing water crisis.

The nightly shutdown is being described as "very worrying" for the city's economy.

At least one restaurateur has already lost more than €5,000 in revenue due to the ongoing water restrictions.

Business owners furious at being "abandoned" by Dublin City Council have called for emergency measures allowing the Civil Defence to bring tankers of water from outlying districts into the city.

Eamonn O'Reilly, the chef and owner of award-winning restaurant One Pico on Molesworth Street, had to close on Friday night after his water ran out at 8.30pm. He said it cost him around €3,500. The following day, he hired a water tanker to drive from Tipperary at a cost €1,887.80.

Councillors will have the opportunity to question Mr Keegan about the difficulties at the water treatment plant in Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare, when they meet tonight.

The council said on Friday that the restrictions would be extended until November 7.

Since last Wednesday, homes and businesses across Dublin city and county, as well as in east Kildare and north Wicklow, have had their water cut off from 8pm to 7am.

"Businesses are struggling to cope. That's very worrying for the city economy," said Fianna Fail councillor Mary Fitzpatrick.

"What we're hoping to hear [from Mr Keegan] is that they have identified the root cause of the problem so that we know there is an end in sight."

Ms Fitzpatrick's comments come as it was claimed €1bn a year needs to be spent on maintaining our water system.

Ray Earle of the Eastern River Basin District Project said the massive sum would need to be invested to meet the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive.