The owner of a Cork city centre café has appealed to any New Year’s Eve revellers who may have witnessed a break-in at her premises to assist gardaí with their investigations.
Staff at the Half Door Café and Upstairs Restaurant and Wine Bar arrived to work at French Church St on New Year’s morning to discover that the premises had been vandalised overnight, with some cash and items taken.
The break-in, which occurred sometime between 6.20pm on New Year’s Eve and 10am on New Year’s Day, came just one week after a late night robbery at toy store Pinocchio’s, less than 55m away from the café, in Cork’s Huguenot Quarter. A thief also stole up to €10,000 from nearby Dealz on Grand Parade just days before Christmas.
Lia Doyle of the Half Door Café and Upstairs Restaurant and Wine Bar said she is “devastated” by the break-in and worried for businesses in the area in light of the two incidents.
“I am very concerned, especially for small businesses in the area,” she said, adding that the vandalism forced the café to remain closed on New Year’s Day.
“Not a lot of places open on New Year’s Day, and we found that it was our busiest day over the Christmas period last year so we had decided to go for it again this year,” she said.
The premises was completely vandalised inside, and a large cast-iron plate used for crepes was thrown out the front window onto the street — which Ms Doyle hopes may help jog the memories of late night passers-by or those heading to two nearby pubs.
“It’s very heavy and would have made an awful lot of noise as it went through the window,” she said. “Most of the places around us would have been shut at the time, but people out for New Year’s in the Paul St area may have heard something.”
Ms Doyle rents the four floors in the building, and said the vandals went through the entire premises, destroyed the end-of-year accounts and stealing the laptop on which she had saved her copies.
“It’s a setback. I have to start them all over again from scratch. There was no need for that,” she said.
“It’s an awful way to start the new year. My staff and I are shocked that someone would do this and it’s a blow to us all.”
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