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Ann Gibney lost her home in a fire, she had no insurance but her community is 'rallying around'

Richard Corrigan and Mary Lou McDonald are auctioning off their cooking skills in a bid to raise money to help rebuild the home of the former Sinn Féin councillor.

It’s the little things I lost in the fire that really upsets me most – not the big things at all. All the old photographs, they can’t be replaced. It’s the memories.

Ann Gibney lost her home after a fire gutted four houses in Navan this June.

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Speaking about the fire, Gibney told TheJournal.ie, “Nobody knows what happened, smoke was noticed coming out of the roof of my house. We have no idea- it was the hottest day of the year.

“The fire brigade reckon that maybe there was a small hole in one of the roofs and that something shiny in the attic could have caught fire.

It was an awful experience – the roofs of four houses were destroyed and then they fell in and the bottoms were destroyed with water.

Ann was in the house when it caught fire.

“I was waiting for a world cup game to come on- my grandson was upstairs and the minute he opened the attic he could see the bright orange of the fire.

“We both got out of the house and everyone in the other houses were also safe thank god, in one sense we’re very lucky.”

‘Bad luck all around’

Gibney explained how she’s been suffering with bad health over the past number of years:

I’m practically housebound due to my health problems but I’m glad to be alive.

“I’ve got very severe arthritis and I’ve had two heart operations where I’ve had two valves replaced. One of the valves had to be replaced again- I was in hospital for six months.”

Ann had no home insurance in place when the house was gutted by fire.

It’s just been bad luck all around- I’m on oxygen for my breatening.

Support 

Speaking about the support she’s received, the former Sinn Féin town councillor said:

“People have been really extremely good. The community has been such a wonderful support, people are really rallying around and doing everything they can to raise funds.”

Navan Mayor and Sinn Fein Councillor, Sinead Burke, said:

Ann worked hard for the people of Navan over the years and now it’s our chance to help her at this devastating time.

Celebrity chef Richard Corrigan and Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald are auctioning off their cooking skills in a bid to raise money to help rebuild Gibney’s home.

When asked how she feels about the auction, Gibney said: “I can’t believe it’s actually being done, it’s mind boggling. People really do rally around so much and do everything they can.”

There are three separate offers being auctioned:

  • Corrigan is offering to personally cook a meal for ten with wine in his newly purchased Virginia Park Hotel in Cavan
  • Deputy McDonald has pledged to cook a three-course meal for ten people in the comfort of their own kitchen. The meal will also be served by a surprise celebrity.
  • And a meal and entertainment for ten people is also being offered by local restaurant The Central.

Bids will be taken until midnight August 31.

Read: Woman charged over house fire in Drogheda that left woman with serious injuries>

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