Self Caterers Seek ‘Grandfather Rule’

The Irish Self-Catering Federation, the representative body for more than 6,500 self-catering properties in Ireland, has welcomed the decision by the Elected Members of Clare County Council to request the Government to pause the proposed roll-out of the Short-Term Tourist Lettings Register.

The motion, which was passed at the March meeting of Clare County Council, is seeking a derogation from government, also referred to as the "Grandfather Rule" in the UK, for all existing self-catering businesses to continue operating.

The national online registration system, which is scheduled to be rolled out by Fáilte Ireland this summer, will require all proprietors who offer short-term tourist lettings to register their properties annually, a move the ISCF says will exacerbate the existing acute tourism accommodation shortage in the West of Ireland in particular.

Máire ní Mhurchú, chair of the ISCF, said there is a critical shortage of available bed nights in many counties and an urgent need for clear planning guidelines around the development of glamping and other self-catering businesses to be established.

"We are calling on Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien to sit down with the ISCF to ensure no self-catering businesses, many of which are small family rural tourism businesses, are lost when the Register is introduced later this year. Issues with planning need to be sorted first, with a derogation for all existing STL businesses. Clear guidelines for planners and owners are essential before the Register is introduced."

She continued:

"A recent report published by Fáilte Ireland highlighted that the Clare tourism economy is being negatively impacted by the fact that 33% of tourism beds in the County are tied into contracts with the Department of Integration. Yet, the Government is moving ahead with its plans for the Register, which could lead to forced exit from the market of some short-term accommodation providers."