Sex shop reopens despite Limerick council payoff

The Opera Centre site as it looked before it was bought by Limerick City and County Council. The sex shop is located on Ellen Street
LIMERICK City and County Council spent almost €100,000 in a bid to get a sex shop shut down.

LIMERICK City and County Council spent almost €100,000 in a bid to get a sex shop shut down.

But the store owner simply moved his business across the road.

When the council paid Nama €12.5m for the Opera Centre site on Patrick Street and Ellen Street back in 2011, it spent €90,000 to the operator of the former Utopia sex shop, which was located in the complex.

The adult store shut up shop last month, but reopened on the other side of Ellen Street, and resumed trading.

The shop, it is understood, did not “fit in” with the council’s plans for the area.

Instead, the local authority is seeking a move for the Revenue Commissioners to a purpose built building on the site.

As well as this, moves are being made to locate a foothold in the city from the third level institutes in Limerick, with input from the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and the Limerick Institute of Technology.

However, it now looks like Utopia will remain in place, albeit slightly off site from where it was before.

A council spokesperson said: “The previous site owners obtained an order against one tenant with a stay pending the commencement of development on the site. The previous owner had also commenced legal proceedings against the owner of the adult shop. The council on acquiring the property concluded these proceedings and obtained possession of the property.”