Dublin Canal boat restaurant operator gets license after ban

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The operator of a boat restaurant on the Dublin Canal that has been ordered to stop selling takeout pizza has not been given any explanation for an apparent reversal of the ban, he said.

Shiful Islam, who runs La Peniche on the Grand Canal, said he was forced to throw in € 3,000 worth of fresh food when gardaí told him to close a few hours after opening on March 25.

The chef said he was told he did not have a business license to sell food or refreshments while the boat was stationary.

But Mr Islam said he was informed on Friday evening – just over a week later – by Waterways Ireland, which allows trading activities on the canal, that he would be granted a temporary business license to continue trading. take-out during the pandemic.

“We are happy to get back to work, that’s all we care about now,” Islam said as he made final preparations before reopening at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

He added, however, that there had been no explanation from Waterways Ireland for the U-turn.

“Last night I was talking to them and they just said you can trade, that’s okay,” he said.

Mr Islam said it was “awful” and “way too much” that gardaí had been sent to order its closure – after equipping the boat with pizza ovens so it could trade take-out while voyages along. of the canal are suspended under Covid-19 restrictions.

Waterways Ireland has previously said it “deeply sympathizes” with commercial operators who could not operate due to the pandemic, but said it could not support activities that violate the restrictions.

There was a “significant difference between a cruise passenger ship providing meals to a limited number of passengers” and a stationary ship moored “for the purpose of selling take-out food to members of the public,” said Thursday the cross-border organization.

He said he understood that a take-out business “trading from a ship to a fixed location” would require a building permit, but when “the ships move, the business does not require a permit. to build “.

Large numbers of people gathered along the Grand Canal “leading to an increase in anti-social behavior, waste and impacting the physical integrity of the banks themselves,” he said at the time.

Waterways Ireland has been contacted for comment.

When asked for a response, Gardaí said he “does not comment on named persons / entities” or “on third party documents”.


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