The store has apologised to customers

Lidl has apologised to customers after special offer paddling pools sold out in under two hours yesterday.

The pools which cost €119 take 7,500 litres of water to fill - prompting criticism of the discount retailer for selling them during the hosepipe ban.

Lidl defended its actions saying that the pools include a filter, so they don't need to be filled for every use.

The store put a ticketing system in place yesterday morning - with people queuing for the pools before shops opened at 8am.

In a statement, Lidl appealed to customers who bought the pools to act responsibly during the hosepipe ban. It said:

'We sold the Bestway Steel Pro Swimming Pool with Filter Pump today from 8am yesterday as advertised as part of our special offers. This particular item has since sold out from stores nationwide and no further stock of this item is planned. The pool was priced at 119 and features a pool cover, pool surface skimmer, synthetic cartridge filter pump and floating chemical dispenser meaning water does not need to be emptied and refilled after each use.

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.

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.'