Customers flooded to Lidl stores nationwide this morning to snap up a special offer pool.
The chain store's 'Bestway Steel Pro Swimming Pool with Filter Pump' went on sale at 8am today, but many customers began queuing to buy one at dawn.
Many shops appeared to have a small number of pools in stock this morning.
The store put a ticketing system into place for health and safety reasons.
Got up at 6:15 to go into lidl so grab myself a fab new pool just for there only to be 3 and I was 4th in line, so close, im genuinely hurt. Also lidl doesnt open till 8 so I thought I was great being there at 6:45
— Alex (@amurphy2001) July 5, 2018
Lidl tweeted less than two hours after stores opened to confirm the pool, which holds 7,480 litres, had sold out around the country and there are no plans to restock the item.
They urged disappointed customers not to take their frustrations out on staff instore.
"Whilst we apologise to customers who have been disappointed, we would ask customers to be respectful towards our employees who have no control over availability," they said.
A spokesperson for the German retailer said Lidl hopes shoppers use the €119 pool responsibly while water restrictions are in place.
"Due to the recent water restrictions that have been put in place, we would hope customers who purchased this item act responsibly and adhere to the guidelines set out by Irish Water," they said.
— John Grennan (@targetseoirl) July 5, 2018
The spokesperson added that a ticketing system was in place since before 8am in many areas.
"We can confirm that a ticketing system is put in place for promotional products on occasion when we anticipate that demand exceeds supply.
"Store teams are instructed to give tickets to the first customers who arrive to the store, on occasion this can be well in advance of our 8am opening times.
"Customers are required to present themselves at 8am to claim the item. The ticketing system is in the interest of health and safety, it is not for reserving and collecting items later."
Disgruntled customers spoke to RTÉ's Liveline this afternoon about the fast sale of the pools.
Geraldine Prior told Joe Duffy that customers were queuing outside her local Lidl before the store opened.
"I'm very disappointed with Lidl and the way they do their business," she said.
She said she was surprised by the ticketing system in place.
"I was flabbergasted that there were people there handing out tickets at 7am."
She said she was interested in buying a pool but added: "I certainly wouldn't use the pool if there was a water shortage."
Other callers expressed their surprise that the pool was being sold while water restrictions are in place.
"I thought it was outrageous to be selling a pool that holds almost seven and a half thousand litres with the current situation," Michael Daly told Liveline.
A nationwide hosepipe ban will come into effect from tomorrow morning.
The measure is already in place in the greater Dublin Area, but Irish Water has decided to extend it to the whole country until the end of the month as supplies remain under pressure from the heatwave.
Most parts of the country will enter a state of "absolute drought" today meaning no rain has fallen in the past 15 days.
Using water for non-essential activities is banned under the order and anyone who breaks it could face prosecution or a fine.
The order means the use of water drawn through a hosepipe, or similar apparatus, is forbidden for the purpose of:
- watering a garden
- cleaning a private motor-vehicle using a domestic hosepipe
- cleaning a private leisure boat
- filling or maintaining a domestic swimming or paddling pool (except when using hand-held containers filled directly from a tap)
- filling or maintaining a domestic pond (excluding fish ponds)
- filling or maintaining an ornamental fountain (with the exception of such use for commercial purposes)
- filling or replenishing an artificial pond, lake or similar application
Meanwhile, night time restrictions are also planned for several areas over the coming days.
This includes Westmeath, Offaly, Louth, Longford, Laois, Galway, the Aran Islands, Donegal, Limerick, Kilkenny and Cork.
Full details can be found on Irish Water's website.