Thursday 8 December 2016

'The sacred heart must have sent them'– Granny (96) thrilled to move home thanks to kindhearted builders

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Dublin

Published 23/11/2016 | 17:02

Rita Rafter
Rita Rafter
Before and after

A 96-year-old granny is “lost for words” at the kindness shown by Irish people after builders carried out construction work on her home for free.

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Rita Rafter, who lives on North Circular Road in Dublin, was devastated when she was told to move out of her home almost two months ago.

It had been deemed unsafe to live in due to structural problems with the roof.

But following a Facebook campaign by her grandson Robbie Carey, Rita was raising the roof when she was inundated with offers to help.

The now fixed roof
The now fixed roof

This week, the Dublin woman moved back into her home after spending the last while living with her daughter Carmel.

“It was lovely spending time in my daughter Carmel’s but there is nothing like your own place and your own bed. I love my own bed,” she said.

“I might start a new cooking course now that I have my new kitchen. I reckon the sacred heart sent the lads so I could stay at home.”

Ms Rafter, who couldn’t afford the repair costs herself, refused to allow her grandchildren and family to give her a helping financial hand, which inspired her grandson to launch the Facebook campaign.

Before and after
Before and after

Overwhelmed by the kindness shown, grandson Robbie said he wanted to thank everyone who helped.

“My nana is chuffed to be back and that's the main thing. And it all stemmed from one man's act of kindness. He went and made it safe off his own back,” Robbie told Independent.ie.

Stephen O’Driscoll and Wayne Kelly of Ever Ready Building and Roofing Contractors carried out the good deed, but Robbie says a number of people got in touch with offers.

“They did a great job. They even insulated the place so needless to say old nana Rita is over the moon to be back in her own home again. They're a great bunch of lads – very trustworthy.”

Speaking to Independent.ie, builder Stephen said he was just happy to help.

“It was great to see her smiling and happy as she’s a lovely woman. They were so grateful as well, it wasn’t done for reward in the first place but the thank you that they gave us was overwhelming; a lovely family and a lovely woman. She’s a great sense of humour and she’s very happy.”

“She went mad about her kitchen, and it was only a couple of new presses,” he laughed.

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