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Waterford pub may close if energy prices continue to soar

The Candy Store may be facing closure if the price of energy continues to rise into the Winter.

Joseph Dowling owns the pub in St. John's Park and said that his recent ESB bills have been in excess of €3,000.

Joseph has refused to increase the cost of his pints meaning they are still at 2019 prices. He says this is because he knows his customers are struggling too.

"I'm talking to people here and they're going to burn anything. Bin collection has gone up, they'll burn all their rubbish.

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"They don't care about the environment anymore because they haven't got the money," he told WLR.

Joseph has been making efforts to reduce energy costs in the pub in order to save money, saying that increasing prices won't make a difference.

He has installed a new heating system and a new low energy fridge. He had hoped to install two more new fridges, but then the electricity bill came in and he couldn't.

"We've been working so hard since we opened up again last December and it's like it's all for nothing now," he said, adding that he feels as though he will just be working to pay the ESB bills.

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Despite being open now, The Candy had actually closed its doors before the pandemic, meaning Joseph got no Government assistance.

Speaking on this on Saturday, he said that, in his opinion, some publicans were greedy to have hiked the price of their drinks.

A lot of owners added between 50c and 70c to their drinks, despite having their wages returned to them through the pandemic payments.

"In a way, some of them were greedy by putting up the drink when people haven't got it," he said.

Joseph says he doesn't want to close his doors, but predicts that his bills will reach the €7,000 mark come the Winter because of having the heating on.

He doesn't believe he's the only pub facing this problem and predicts that many pubs across the country will close in the coming months.

The Candy isn't the publican's first venture; Joseph owned a pub in London during the recession.

He says people used to go to the pub back then to keep warm, but this is, in fact, the toughest period he has faced.

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