ENNISCORTHY filling station proprietor Jimmy Gahan reckons that he is providing a social service rather than running a business at the moment in selling petrol and diesel at wafer thin margins.
He reveals that, after the Government and suppliers have taken their cut from the current record prices, he is left with about 3.5 cent per litre to meet wages and other overheads. It makes no commercial sense whatever.
And he reckons that his native town is being picked on by suppliers who are charging him more than his counterparts elsewhere in County Wexford: 'Enniscorthy was always perceived as an expensive town, so the wholesalers charge more,' is his experience of the market. He observes with exasperation that some rivals in Wexford or Gorey are charging motorists less than the rate he is shelling out for bulk deliveries by the 40,000 litre load.
'We are practically making nothing – there is no profit in petrol,' reports the well known businessman and occasional broadcaster. 'I am crying foul on behalf of our customers.'
He notes that motorists pulling in to his Chapel Lane forecourt have begun cutting back on the amount of fuel they buy, with many sales ringing up just €5 or €10 at the tills.
His customers frequently pass comments about the high prices but most of them are not angry about the inflated cost, just resigned to the fact that oil has become a dear commodity all over the world.