FOUR people including a one and a half year old boy escaped unharmed when fire ripped through an award- winning pub and adjoining residence in Ennis on St Stephen’s Day.
It took ten fire brigade units al- most 14 hours to bring the blaze at the Aylmer’s Rest pub and restaurant under control.
Fire services were first alerted to the fire, which is believed to have started accidentally, at 8.30am. Four units attended the scene and it was thought that the fire had been brought under control by Ipm.
However flames were again seen shooting from the building soon af- ter and six units returned to the scene at the Turnpike area of Ennis.
The pub, which is located just yards from a sculpture specially commis- sioned in honour of Muhammad Al1’s visit to the town in September, was extensively damaged by the blaze.
A commemorative plaque erected to mark the visit of the former world boxing champion was one of the few items not damaged in the blaze.
The adjoining residence and guest- house also suffered damage in the incident. Four people – owners Frank and Carmel Daniels, their daugh- ter and their one-year old grandson, were in the residence at the time and were all safely evacuated.
Speaking yesterday, the owner’s son Francis Daniels said the pub had been completely destroyed.
“The fire brigades were up around 9.30am and they left around lpm but they had to come back again about a half an hour later. [’d say it was al- most 11.30 that night before they got it under control. Its totally destroyed, I was up there again today for a look and it’s wrecked”.
He added, “We’re going to re-build. We’ll have a big cleanup and hope- fully in three to four weeks they can Start re-building it”.
Formerly called the Gallows, the Aylmer’s Rest has been run by the
Daniels family since 1997.
It underwent an extensive refur- bishment four years ago and has previously been named as ‘Dining Pub of the Year’ by the Dining Pub Ireland guide.
The owners erected a plaque and number of pictures to commemorate the visit of Muhammad Ali to Ennis in September.