Fire crews working to save the roof of the Thatch on Donore Road last night after it was set alight for the second time in three months. Photo courtesy of Anthony Murphy.
Just weeks after it was torched by arsonists the Thatch pub on the Donore Road was set alight once again shortly after 11.00 pm last night.
Members of the public attempted to hold the blaze at bay while fire crews from Drogheda, Dunleer and Dundalk rushed to the scene.
The former pub was a firm favourite with locals from the Ballsgrove, Finian’s Park and Rathmullan estates before it was closed many years ago and let fall into disrepair.
Thanks to a campaign by Councillor Paul Bell both the Thatch and Drogheda’s other remaining thatched cottage, Harty’s Cottage at Crushrod Avenue, were restored but both have now been targeted by arsonists.
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The Thatch was repaired and rethatched last summer with grants of €10,000 from the Government’s Built Heritage Investment Scheme and another €10,000 from the endangered buildings scheme plus support from the County Council and the property owner.
But mindless vandals struck in February and caused severe but thankfully not unrepairable damage.
At the time Councillor Paul Bell said: “The saving of the building is a credit to the actions of the firefighters of our local Fire Service who were on site within minutes of the fire being reported.
In a sick sort of Groundhog Day fashion he expressed more or less the same sentiment this morning.
“This is a criminal and shameful act and I implore citizens to help Gardaí with their investigation” he said.
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