Hotel prices | 

Sinn Féin TD says cheaper to go see Bruce Springsteen in Rome than stay in Dublin for gig

Pearse Doherty said Springsteen fans can save €200 by seeing The Boss abroad instead of going to one of the RDS gigs next summer

Pearse Doherty

Paul Hyland

Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty has said its cheaper to attend one of Bruce Springsteen’s concerts by traveling to Rome than it is to stay in Dublin for one of the rocker’s dates.

Speaking in the Dáil today, Mr Doherty, his party’s finance spokesperson, said Springsteen fans can save €200 by seeing the US rock legend at his show in the eternal city instead of going to one of the RDS gigs next summer.

Mr Doherty made the argument while asking the Transport Minister Eamon Ryan what the Government intends to do about hotel prices in the capital.

Springsteen is set to play three Irish concerts on May 5, 7 and 9 at the RDS, before playing one night in Rome on May 21.

Bruce Springsteen

Mr Doherty said he is aware of some people who are travelling to Rome for the concert because they cannot afford to stay in Dublin.

"Bruce Springsteen is coming to town next year to play three nights at the RDS and so out of control have hotel prices become that we had a caller named Stephen from the west who called into Ocean FM [radio] today," he said.

“He explained that the cost to see Bruce Springsteen and to stay in Dublin for the night is so expensive that he looked at alternatives.

"So he found that it was €200 cheaper for the concert ticket, the flight and a night in Rome than it is to travel up the road to Dublin and stay a night here in a hotel after the concert.

“So Stephen and his friends are flying off to Rome to see Bruce Springsteen in the Circus Maximus instead of the RDS... Replacing one circus for another… What is the Government going to do about the rip-off hotel prices that are being charged in this city?”

In response Mr Ryan admitted that hotel prices are “real issue” that “have to stop”.

It comes as earlier this week, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar warned the Irish hospitality industry that any evidence of price gouging could result in the Government opting to restore the higher rate of VAT for the sector in 2023.

Mr Varadkar rejected suggestions Ireland’s humanitarian response to the Ukraine war is responsible for the surge in hotel and holiday prices.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

He said it was a capacity issue as the world experienced a surge in travel after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is a shortage of hotels in Ireland particularly in Dublin and our cities and I don’t think the fact we are accommodating so many people from Ukraine really is the cause – it’s only about 5pc in Dublin and 9pc around the country,” he said.

“It wouldn’t be fair to put it all down to the war in Ukraine, there is a general shortage of hotel accommodation in Ireland.

"It wasn’t that long ago people were saying that we shouldn’t build any new hotels in Dublin – they were wrong.”

The Tánaiste warned the hospitality sector against overcharging after multiple complaints from domestic and overseas visitors about the scale of the recent price spiral.

“One thing I would say to hoteliers in the meantime is there might be a shortage of space and accommodation in your hotels but don’t engage in overcharging,” Mr Varadkar said.

“The Government took a decision not to put the 9pc VAT rate back up – when we come to look at that again next year, we don’t want to have to put it back up again, and how customers are treated will be a factor that we will take into account,” he said.

“Also bear in mind what happened 10 or 15 years ago when the Irish tourism industry got a bad reputation internationally for overcharging, a price was paid for it a few years later.

“Perhaps there are more profits to be made long-term in not having such high prices and treating people fairly.”

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