LIMERICK City Council installed a CCTV camera outside a Limerick restaurant to monitor whether it was in breach of its licence not to operate as a takeaway, Limerick District Court has heard.
According council official Sean Moran, it was more cost-effective to install the camera than have inspectors monitor late-night activities at Adana Chargrill on Cormarket Row.
He was giving evidence in the case of restaurateur Shamsul Rahaman, who insisted he has not been serving takeaway from his premises.
The 43-year-old Bangladeshi is currently appealing a decision by Limerick City Council’s decision to refuse him permission to alter his operating licence to include a takeaway. The refusal is now being appealed to An Bord Pleanala and a decision is due in December.
The father-of-two claims he will have to close his restaurant if he fails in his appeal.
Mr Moran said there were several examples from CCTV footage of people leaving the Adana Chargrill with food.
He said one still taken from CCTV footage on the night of August 27 showed six people in six minutes leaving the premises with food.
Solicitor for Limerick City Council Will Leahy said the CCTV evidence highlighted the breach of an order preventing the premises from operating as a takeaway.
However, defence solicitor John Herbert said the customers in the stills were leaving with partially eaten food.
Mr Herbert said his client and his staff were doing their best to be compliant.
He said there was a sign up in the restaurant informing customers that it was not a takeaway and his client had employed a security guard at weekends who works on the door. He also showed the court a photo of a customer being turned away at the counter after they looked for takeaway food.
Judge Eugene O’Kelly inquired whether there were any regulations governing the issuing of doggy bags in Limerick restaurants.
The judge said there was no evidence available from the Council from inside the restaurant to challenge whether people were being turned away after looking for takeaway, and the witness could not say if customers were leaving with half-eaten meals.
Judge O’Kelly agreed to adjourn the case until January 3 after the decision from An Bord Pleanala is known.