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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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Cork shopping centre damaged by fire may not reopen until summer 2020

Demolition is set to begin next week at Douglas Village Shopping Centre.

The aftermath of the fire.
The aftermath of the fire.
Image: Cork City Fire/Twitter

DOUGLAS VILLAGE SHOPPING Centre may not reopen until summer 2020, its operators have said.

A fire caused extensive damage to the car park of the shopping centre in Cork last month, and demolition is due to take place next week.

The 31 August blaze in the multi-storey car park destroyed scores of vehicles but smoke from the fire and water from the firefighting operation also damaged stores within the centre.

Traders had been unable to gain access to their premises in the week after the fire but have since been allowed into the centre to assess the damage.

The operators of the centre said today the extent of the rebuild was dependent on the amount of the demolition required. 

“An initial area for demolition has been identified but given the extent of the damage, additional areas may have to be added as the damaged areas get exposed and inspected up close,” it said. 

While the current advice says that the centre will reopen fully in Summer 2020, more on that time frame will become available once the demolition is complete. 

Local councillor Deirdre Forde told TheJournal.ie earlier this week that traders were anxious to see what could be salvaged.

“I don’t think even the owners or the consultants can say [whether it can open again] yet, until they see how the demolition goes but I mean we’d all be hoping that something can be done,” she said. “Because otherwise, it could be a long-term loss to Douglas village.

Everybody’s waiting to see if a definitive timeline will come out. And then if it’s long-term we’ll just have to look for other vacant properties in the area. But there aren’t that many unfortunately.

So far, 137 cars have been safely removed from the premises with a further 10 due to be taken out this weekend. That will leave another 49 cars on the site and the vast majority of these are fully destroyed. 

This includes three cars on the top floor that may be removed during the demolition process. 

With reporting from Rónán Duffy

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