'We have skips of water for flushing the toilets'

Gabrielle Finglas, general manager of One Escape Health club, Smithfield. Photo: Caroline Quinn

Cormac Murphy

BUSINESSES in Dublin city centre are putting drastic measures in place to ensure they're not left without a vital water supply.

The biggest strain on stored capacity is expected over the weekend, and hotels, pubs, gyms and cafes are hoping they'll get through the next three nights unscathed.

The Old Storehouse pub on Crown Alley in Temple Bar has made special provision.

"We have back-up. We have skips of water upstairs for flushing toilets just in case. Always be prepared," barman Ian Daly told the Herald.

He said they have a coffin cooler in the basement for keeping the beer cold and it relies on a constant flow of water.

The pub has "backed it up with ice" in case.

The Morgan Hotel on Fleet Street did not experience any shortages during the first night of the restrictions, which sees the water supply to homes and businesses across Dublin cut off every night until November 4.

"We left notes on every room about the situation," hotel duty manager Alvydas Sabalas told the Herald.

"So far there have been no complaints. We were fine because our (storage) tank is quite big. We have our own pumps."

The note left with guests states that, from 8pm, Dublin City Council is putting nightly water restrictions in place.

Cilian Byrne, owner of the Pieman Cafe on Crown Alley, believes the council could have chosen a more suitable start-time.

"There would be better times they could do it. Why not put it at midnight?" he said.

The cafe opened until 8pm on Wednesday – the first night of the curtailments – but will stay open until 9pm over the weekend.

However, it hasn't had problems so far.

One Escape health club in Smithfield, Dublin 7, also managed to avoid any problems.

However, general manager Gabrielle Finglas noticed a higher than usual number of members using their shower facilities, presumably because they had no water at home.

"The showers didn't go off last night. We have a pool and a jacuzzi so everything should be backed up," Gabrielle said.

"But we ran out of towels because of people coming in for showers."

The Auld Dubliner pub in Temple Bar took safeguards as well.

"As a precaution, we filled a few buckets of water just in case. We have our own tank so it wasn't really an issue," assistant manager Niall Smith said.