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Tory Island’s cafe destroyed by fire

Tory Tau
BY KATE HEANEY
TORY Island’s only cafe was destroyed by fire on Wednesday night and the cause is being investigated by gardai.
Cafe an Chreagain was opened 28 years ago by island natives Mary and James McGinty in defiance of attempts to depopulate the island in the 1980s.
The alarm was raised around 8 pm last night and the island’s fire response team swung into action.
They have a specially adapted trailer with pumps which can be towed by a car or tractor. The man on the island have undergone training with the fire service on the mainland.
However, by the time they reached the cafe which is located towards the far end of West Town, the blaze was out of control and the cafe is now totally destroyed.
According to Lorraine McGinty, daughter of the owners, the premises had not opened last year as there were so few visitors to the island the previous summer. She and her brother had been planning to open the cafe this year in the hope of an increase in visitors to the island with the promotion of  the Wild Atlantic Way.
“We are devastated and cannot understand how this could happen as the electricity to the cafe has been turned off for more than a year. My parents are very upset, they had extended the cafe a number of years ago and put in a  new kitchen.
“They appreciate the effort all of the men on  the island made to try to save the cafe. We will try to rebuild but it will be tough with no insurance and having to bring materials in to the island from the mainland,” Ms McGinty said.
Gardai went to Tory Island with forensic officers to investigate the cause of the fire.
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