Limerick restaurant owner to go ‘cashless’ in bid to foil burglaries

‘They are clearly looking for cash and I’m not going to give them the incentive’

A Limerick restaurant owner says she has been forced to accept only “cashless” transactions in response to three break-ins in three months at the premises.

As gardaí issued advice on Wednesday, as part of a Europe-wide day focusing on burglaries, Sabrina Amodeo, owner of the Tuscany Bistro Italian restaurant chain, was planning a response of her own.

“We really feel it is time to go cashless. It’s safer for our employees, and safer for our business. Hopefully those who are causing us such hassle will bugger off now,” Ms Amodeo said.

The restaurant in the Limerick suburb of Newtown, Castletroy was burgled twice in two days, on April 18th and April 19th, and again, on June 15th.

While no money was taken in the three break-ins, Ms Amodeo said she had been left “stressed out”, and footing a large bill for repairs to smashed doors, windows and locks. She has had to fork out for additional security systems, she said.

She is now in talks with a private security company to outsource the handling of cash as the restaurant transitions towards “card only” payments.

Ms Amodeo said she planned to roll out the “cashless” transactions at her two other Bistro premises, located at The Granary in Limerick city, and, at Ballina, Co Tipperary.

“We’ve had too many burglaries recently. They have caused a lot of damage and disruption to the business.

“We are going cashless in all our businesses. We feel we have no choice. They are clearly looking for cash and I’m not going to give them the incentive.”

The South African native who has been in business in Limerick for nearly 20 years praised gardaí for “doing everything they can do with the resources they have”, but “we need a garda station in Castletroy and we need more garda visibility”.

Responding to the concerns of residents in Limerick’s city east district, a garda spokesman said gardaí were “liaising with estate management section” of the force, with a view to possibly refurbishing the Castleconnell Garda station, located 7.5km from Castletroy.

Senior local garda sources have said the station is substandard, and would require refurbishment works before any consideration was given to the possible provision of additional personnel there.

The spokesman said garda management “is satisfied that an adequate policing service continues to be delivered and that current structures in place meet the requirement to deliver an effective and efficient policing service to the community”.