Sir, – Una Mullally, in her article "Why is Dublin being starved of outdoor dining spaces?" (Opinion & Analysis, September 21st) appears to be quite critical of Dublin City Council for having, as she opines, "mind-bogglingly missed the summer". Her criticism is harsh, and even unfair.
The hospitality sector in Dublin is suffering from a collapse in customer numbers due to various factors, including the increase in remote working, the absence of tourists and the curtailment of public transport.
Your columnist is being fanciful if she believes that the creation of outdoor dining spaces, however desirable, offers a panacea in the face of those unfortunate realities.
It is a matter for private operators in the hospitality sector to decide if they wish to trade in the public domain.
Many of the spaces mentioned in the article would be unsuitable, in not having hospitality businesses fronting onto them.
Where suitable operators have indicated a wish to trade in the public domain and where suitable space is available, Dublin City Council has been supportive. Such support has included the waiving of all fees.
Only last Friday, in response to the Level 3 restrictions, the council announced that relevant businesses could proceed to operate from the public domain, subject to minimal conditions, with applications for permission being accepted retrospectively.
It is not immediately apparent what more the council can do. – Yours,etc,
OWEN P KEEGAN,
Dublin City Council,
Sir, – In days of old we had social events where we were invited to “bring your own bottle” (BYOB).
With the effect of the Dublin lockdown and restaurateurs opting for outdoor seating in these chilly times, perhaps the acronym could be reintroduced to invite patrons to “bring your own blanket”.
We need to continue to support our innovative hospitality sector. – Yours, etc,