Self-Catering Industry Needs Grandfather Rule

Press Release from the Irish Self-Catering Federation


Immediate Release 13.03.24


Media Release

Wednesday, 13 March 2024


Self-Catering Industry Needs Grandfather Rule – ISCF

  • Short-term accommodation is a significant generator of income for rural communities


The Irish Self-Catering Federation (ISCF), 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 (STTL) Register.

The Motion, which was passed at the March Monthly Meeting of Clare County Council on Monday, 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 have 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,”

she added. “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.”

Ms. ní Mhurchú 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,” she explained.

“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.”

She added, “Short-term accommodation, such as glamping and holiday homes, is a niche but significant generator of income for rural communities.

With an average of 6 people per house spending a minimum of €250 in the local economy, the economic value of 100 self-catering short-term tourist properties in Clare over a 32-week tourism season would be €4.8m. This would result in significant, additional pressures being placed on local cafes,

shops, restaurants, craft shops, galleries and other tourist-focused services.”

Ms. Ní Mhurchú warned that the supplementary income of many families operating within the sector will be significantly impacted should the Register proceed as scheduled.

She added, “The ISCF very much welcomes the motion carried by Elected Members in Clare which urges the Tourism and Housing Ministers to suspend the mandatory registration of STLs until full consultation has been granted and full clarification has been issued regarding the planning permission process. This is required to allay the fears and reduce anxiety for the hosts.”




For more information contact: ISCF Office, Durrus, Co Cork – 086178 5654