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Dublin: 13 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019

Community pulls together to get local woman back in her home after fire

Grainne Nelligan’s home and business were both destroyed in the fire two months ago.

THE COMMUNITY OF Dalkey in south Dublin have pulled together to support longtime resident Grainne Nelligan whose home and business were both destroyed in a fire two months ago.

On 24 January, a blaze engulfed the woman’s thrift shop ‘New to You’ as well the flat she lived in above the business. Nelligan, who is in poor health, had no insurance to cover the cost of repairing the extensive damage to her property so friends and customers in the community came together to raise the money to get her back into her home.


Speaking to, close friend of Nelligans and one of the organisers of the ‘Get Grainne Home’ campaign, Marguerite Harpur-Scales, said the Dalkey woman was hospitalised after the incident which “affected her greatly”.

“It’s a shock, something like that,” she said. “But she’s got a lot of people supporting her and the most important thing now is to get her into her home and have it warm and secure so she can get well”.

Since the fire, the community has rolled up its sleeves to clear out the rubble and rebuild Nelligan’s home and business. Money has been raised through various events like table quizzes, bag-packing and live music nights, and local businesses have also held fundraisers to chip in.

It is expected that the community will have Nelligan back in her home within a month, though reconstruction of the business will take considerably longer.

“People have been absolutely fantastic,” Harpur-Scales said. “There’s such a great community spirit and you see that especially in recessional times because people know what it is to have lost. The community has come together so strongly because everyone in Dalkey knows Grainne.”

Nelligan and her family have been living in Dalkey for around 20 years and Harpur-Scales said her second-hand store was a “social hub”, especially for elderly residents in the community.

“People would go in there, not just to buy things but to have a chat and a cup of tea or coffee and a lot of the elderly women have said that they really miss going in to talk to her,” she said.

This Friday night the organisers of the campaign are pulling out all the stops with ‘An Evening of Mediumship’ with four mediums on hand to wow the crowd at the Cuala GAA Club, including Dalkey native Eamon Seix. More information can be found on the Get Grainne Home Facebook page.

Harpur also promised a flashmob as a ‘thank you’ to the community for all of their hard work but the details are top secret.

Community pulls together to get local woman back in her home after fire
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  • Grainne's shop and home after the fire

  • Photo taken after the fire tore through the property

  • The shop in the aftermath of the fire

  • Gutted

  • Table quiz in March

  • Table quiz in March

  • Progress

  • Bag-packing

  • Working hard

  • Work progresses

  • Rebuilding

  • The shop front

  • Grainne's home

  • Near completion

  • Recent photo of Grainne taken in Dalkey

All images used with permission of Get Grainne Home.

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