Capital expenditure: Is there a future for Dublin Town?

Supporters of the capital’s business promotion body claim its existence is now more necessary than ever, but its critics say it should be scrapped

Catherine Sheridan of Costelloe + Costelloe; Jean Martin Deniau of Monte-Cristo antiques; Matthew Weldon and his dog Esther, Courtville Antique Gallery; Brendan Fagan of Stock Design; and Mary Whelan of Eirlooms Irish Gift Shop are unhappy with what they believe is an unfair levy imposed by the Dublin Town organisation. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Nearly five years ago, a crowd of disgruntled business owners gathered inside a meeting room at Brooks Hotel on Drury Street in Dublin 2.

The group, which included well-known restaurateurs, publicans, and shop owners, were there to share their grievances about Dublin Town, which was seeking to win a vote on the renewal of its five-year contract.

Since 2007, rate payers in Dublin’s retail district have been required to pay a levy to fund the ...