Sunday 15 September 2019

Exclusive: 'The video doesn't lie - that's the silent witness' - Supermac's CEO on fighting fraud

Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh
Supermac's founder Pat McDonagh
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Supermac's CEO Pat McDonagh has defended the restaurant's decision to install cameras in the bathrooms of a number of its stores around the country.

Following a recent appeal for information to an incident that was captured on CCTV footage in a Supermac's store, a number of people queried the legality of recording in this part of the fast food restaurant.

According to the Data Protection Commissioner website, justifying use of using cameras in such an area would come down to the demonstration of "a pattern of security breaches [that] had occurred in the area prior to the installation of the system".

Mr McDonagh, who has spoken out regularly on the issue of Ireland's 'compo-culture', said that the purpose of having CCTV in the bathrooms is to prevent such a claim from taking place.

"We are safeguarding our own business. The camera is never in a compromising position. There is absolutely no fear of anyone's privacy being violated. The videotapes are there to act as a deterrent."

Read more: 'This is one for YouTube' - Supermacs founder Pat McDonagh on fraudulent claims and Ireland's compo-culture

On Thursday evening, a clip of CCTV footage taken at a Supermac's showing a man splashing water on the floor of the bathroom and on himself was shared on the restaurant's Facebook page, asking, "Do you know this man? We'd like to speak to him".

According to a Supermac's spokesperson, the man in question approached the restaurant counter that day, complaining that he had fallen as a result of the wet floor and that his phone was broken, and he required compensation for same immediately.

The employee contacted his area manager who in turn called the gardai but the man left the store before the authorities arrived.

Businessman McDonagh acknowledges that genuine claims, such as those he’s experienced first-hand in the fast-food industry are "a fact of life", but "it’s the totally fraudulent and exaggerated claims that cause the problems".

"A lot of people don't realise what's happening in insurance and why the costs are rising so dramatically, it's something that has been happening for years," he said.

"We need to highlight the issues that are occurring, that could be forcing businesses not to even have insurance as the costs are so high.

"The video doesn't lie - that's the silent witness."

Online Editors

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