Pearse Doherty blasts 'rip-off' Dublin prices for travelling Derry fans
Donegal T.D. Pearse Doherty has complained of the 'rip-off' prices Derry supporters will face if they choose to stay in some Dublin hotels and hostels this weekend when they travel to the capital for the All-Ireland Football Championship Quarter-Final match against Clare.
Deputy Doherty raised the sky-high prices of rooms in Dublin during an exchange in the Dáil.
"Next Saturday, supporters will be travelling to Dublin from Derry, Clare and Cork to watch their county teams play in the All-Ireland Quarter-Finals. They will be faced with rip-off prices in the city next weekend.
"Hotels are charging more than €400 per night and hostels are charging eye-watering rates for bunk beds. One hostel is charging €167 for the pleasure of sleeping in a bunk bed with nine other strangers in a dormitory. That is absolutely crazy. It is what is happening in this city in 2022," he blasted.
The Donegal T.D.'s comments come as travel bible Lonely Planet highlighted the high costs of a trip to the Irish capital in an article on its website.
Writer Sasha Brady wrote: "It's fair to say finding last-minute accommodation won't be easy. Lonely Planet looked at weekend availability in Dublin city centre in July for two people and average prices ranged between €700 and €900 through Booking.com.
"In one weekend, the cheapest price was €411 for a private room in purpose-built student accommodation, while the second cheapest was an eye-watering €428 for two beds in a mixed hostel dormitory."
Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Doherty asked whether the hospitality industry has been asked to pass on the savings from a reduced VAT rate that has been extended to March 2023 to customers.
"Last month, the Minister extended the reduced VAT rate to the hospitality sector until next March. We know this comes with a price tag for this year and next of €500 million. Two weeks ago, I stood here and asked the Minister, who introduced this tax rate, to engage with the industry to ensure it is passing on that saving to customers.
"Has he done that? More importantly, what is the Government going to do to tackle the rip-off prices people are being charged?" he asked.
The Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe responded by asking Deputy Doherty if he was against the extension of the reduced VAT rate for hotels.
Deputy Doherty replied: "I agree with the extension. What I disagree with is hostels charging €167 for a bunk bed with nine others."
Minister Donohoe said: "We have put in place a measure to give the sector the opportunity to recover from the awful effects of the pandemic.
"Of course I remember the issue that Deputy Doherty raised with me, but this is why the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, who is directly responsible for dealing with our tourism sector and its future development, and her officials have been engaging with representatives of the hospitality sector to make clear to them the price they will pay in future for putting in place prices that do not deliver good value and that discourage domestic and international tourism here.
"The greatest losers from unaffordable pricing in this regard, if it takes hold in Irish tourism will be those involved in Irish tourism."