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Court refuses application to sell alcohol at Cork eatery

By Liam Heylin

An application for a licence to sell alcohol in a newly refurbished restaurant that was due to open for the jazz weekend was refused yesterday.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said at Cork Circuit Court that in the past 18 years he had never before refused a licence.

Barrister Constance Cassidy said Dwyer’s on Washington St — the former premises of Rachel Allen — is a €2m development with 25 employees which was ready to trade. Sgt Alan Cronin said gardaí were not opposed to the premises being licensed.

However, there was an objection to the licence being granted to Moscato Limited of Unit 3 Courthouse Chambers, Washington St, Cork, in respect of premises known as Rachel’s Restaurant of Unit 3 Courthouse Chambers, Washington St, now renamed as Dwyer’s.

Michael McGrath, representing objector Kmont Property Holdings Ltd, said the objection was based on planning permission. Ms Cassidy said it was fully compliant with pre-existing permission from 2016. Mr McGrath said it was not.

Judge Ó Donnabháin said the premises appeared to be going from being a restaurant to a bar but this was disputed by the applicant.

When a witness said a Cork City Council planner could not say, without seeing the premises in operation, if it was in compliance with this permission, the judge commented: “Cork City Council — in this and many other things — don’t know whether they are coming or going.

[quote]“They close the tunnel and dig up Glanmire on the same night. That they don’t know if they are coming or going should not come as a surprise to anyone.”[/quote]

Judge Ó Donnabháin refused the application.

“The court will not be toyed with. I refuse the application. The planning permission [from 2016] is entirely specific. The new application is for an entirely different premises. I refuse the application.”

The applicant will now have to appeal that decision to the High Court in Dublin if they want get the licence for Dwyer’s.