'Baravan' owner hopes to lift spirits in Christchurch
A CARAVAN converted into a bar is setting off on a 20,000km journey to become a new 'local' for an Irishman in New Zealand.
Earthquake survivor Ciaran Crowley is paying double the 'baravan's' €1,500 value to ship it to Christchurch on Sunday.
The car-sales rep hopes the baravan will provide a watering hole for his local community, where bars and restaurants were razed to the ground in last year's devastating earthquake.
The 30-year-old converted Bailey camper comes with a full keg dispenser, a bottle fridge, bar optics, an LCD TV and 5.1 surround sound system.
Fully roadworthy, it sleeps four comfortably, according to seller Colin Murphy, from Blarney, Co Cork, who converted it at a cost of €1,000.
After using it as a mobile party bus for sessions all over Munster, Mr Murphy posted the baravan for sale on Done Deal.
"I didn't believe it when I first got an email from Ciaran, all the way from New Zealand," he said.
He dropped the price to €1,500 to seal the deal.
Mr Crowley, a married father of two living in Christchurch since 2006, spotted the baravan 'by chance' and loved it.
"It's just brilliant for our friends and neighbours, exactly what we were looking for," he said.
He moved to New Zealand in 2006 having previously spent eight years in San Francisco, where he and his wife survived the 1989 earthquake.
"The area of Christchurch we used to drink in, called The Strip, has been completely razed to the ground. It's just dust," he said.
The story took a twist when the two realised they were past pupils of the same school, Colaiste Criost Ri in Turner's Cross, Cork.
The baravan, stuffed with Tayto and Barry's Tea, sets sail from Tivoli docks in a 40ft container on Sunday.
Mr Murphy is battling against the clock to get 10 Cork companies to donate €85 to put their logo on to the side of the van as a surprise for the buyer.
"I didn't know him from Adam, but we've become friends. It will be like a little bit of Cork in Christchurch," Mr Murphy said.