Clearing work gets underway at fire-damaged Foley's tearooms
Famous Castlebellingham location was destroyed by a blaze but the owners would love to see it rebuilt and opened for business again
The sight of diggers and workmen at Foley's, Castlebellingham have raised hopes that the thatched tearooms will rise Phoenix-like from the ashes following the devastating fire in March 2018.
Joe Donovan, who ran the popular tearooms and curio shop with his family, confirmed that he hopes that it can be rebuilt.
'This is preliminary work which is being carried out to clear away the straw and debris after the fire. It will allow the engineers to assess the damage and work out what repairs need to be done.'
The landmark cottage, which was popular with visitors from all over Ireland and abroad, dates back to the 18th century.
'The plan is to rebuild it and to be honest, we had hoped it would have been done by now,' says Joe, who has since opened a curio shop in Bridge Street, Dundalk.
He would like to see the original mud walls repaired and the traditional thatched roof back in place.