A FAMILY whose house was destroyed by fire last Christmas Eve has returned to their home this week, a mere 11 weeks after the devastating blaze.
Suzanne and Ger Roche had no house insurance when their Edward Street home was destroyed and they lost everything they owned. Thanks to the generosity of friends and local businesses, they have been able to return to a fully furnished and restored family home.
Suzanne is still trying to come to terms with how quickly the family’s fortunes have turned around after the horrific events of December 24, saying: “I’m still in awe. Words can’t explain it.
“I think back to the night it happened and what we’ve had to face since then. Our family home was gone but now we’ve come from one extreme to the other.
“I never thought we’d ever move back in there. We had nothing left except the clothes on our backs. The hardest thing was looking at photos of Communions and Confirmations being destroyed.”
She expressed considerable gratitude for the work of her close friends Deirdre Organ and Rose Moloney, who organised the restoration of the house and refurbished her charity shop, as well as local businesses and tradespeople who pitched in to help.
“All of them were so helpful and we’d like to especially mention Alan in Essential Bathroom & Tiles, Tom in Casey Furniture and Ed from InHouse Kitchens. Tradespeople put jobs back so that they could help us. Sandblasters came in and they left no reminder of the damage.”
Suzanne is well known for her own charity work, having founded the Indira Initiative on O’Connell Street, which facilitates homework clubs and involves tutors from UL and Limerick Institute of Technology.
The Indira Initiative is being re-branded as Limerick Pathway to Education, which launches its new premises on Wickham Street on Thursday March 20 at 5:30pm. The building was redesigned by Maire Walsh and Sinead Dinneen, with reusable items used in the decoration of the shop.
Suzanne had been busy with delivering hampers to needy families in the run-up to Christmas and noted how readily people helped her family to get back on their feet, having spent so much of her time helping others.
“A lady came all the way out from Newcastlewest to drop in a present to my 12-year-old daughter and I was getting letters from people in in Kerry, Cork and Navan.
“It will take a while to get used to being back here but we’re delighted to be home. Now we just want to look forward and not back.”
The Roche family would like to thank:
- Heiton Buckley
- Irish Wire Products Ltd
- Connolly Men
- Carpet Floor Stores, Mungret Street
- Tubs & Tiles
- Tower Carpets
- Furniture Wholesale Cash & Carry
- McMahon’s Building & Home Improvement Centre
- Essential Bathroom & Tiles
- Woodies DIY
- World of Tiles
- Budget Price Tiles
- Casey Furniture
- Pamela Scott
- Peony Court restaurant
- St Paul’s School
- Inhouse Kitchens
- Jack Fitzgerald’s
- Co-Op Superstores, Raheen
- EZ Living
- Celia Holman Lee
- Grelta O’Shea, Limerick Unity Gospel Choir
- Keith Moore, electrician
- Darren Daly, electrician
- Frank O’Brien, windows
- Gerard Lysaght, carpenter
- Eoin Doran, painter
- Kieran Murray, painter
- Barry Gill, sodium blast
- Tom O’Sullivan, kitchen fitter
- Eric Anslow, tiler
- Robert Long, plumber