Retail Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the retail sector, has written to the Garda Commissioner setting out its opposition to the planned loyalist protest in Dublin this coming Saturday. The group said the protest had the potential to 'seriously disrupt' the civic and commercial life of the city.
"Retailers had hoped by now that Saturday's march in Dublin city would have been prohibited or located elsewhere," said Retail Ireland Director Frank Gleeson. "I have now written to the Garda Commissioner, Martin Callanan, seeking assurances that if the march does go ahead it will be contained and will not interrupt trading in any way. City centre retailers need certainty that there will be no disruption to business on the busiest shopping day of the week."
Retail Ireland said it had hoped the protest would be outlawed under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994.
"Northern retailers reported a large fall in sales over Christmas due to the presence of similar protests in Belfast," Gleeson added. "Our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association say that £3 million per week was lost to the sector. Such a scenario cannot be tolerated in Dublin."