Two hospitalised after explosion at popular Killaloe pub

A blaze destroyed the popular Walsh's Top of the Town pub in Killaloe today. Photo: Bernie English.

TWO people were taken to hospital after a blaze which is believed to have resulted from an explosion in a pub at the heart of Killaloe today (September 25).

Five units from the fire services battled to bring the blaze under control shortly before 1pm today, but the popular Walsh’s Top of the Town pub was completely gutted.

It is reported that an explosion was heard around lunchtime before smoke and flames began billowing from the building on Main Street.

Two people escaped the blaze, which took hold very quickly according to witnesses at the scene.

The proprietor and her son-in-law were taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment and discharged later in the evening having suffered smoke inhalation and shock.

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The Garda Forensic Unit combed the premises this evening while locals, including rugby legend Keith Wood, who has a business nearby, waited to help board up the blackened building.

Also on hand were local Clare TD Timmy Dooley and councillor Tony O’Brien.

Cllr O’Brien told the Limerick Post that it is “a devastating blow for the Walsh family and for the town and business community”.

“This was a very popular pub and it has been here for decades, part of the local community.”

Councillor O’Brien said that it was “lucky that nobody was seriously injured. There were no customers on the premises, but there could easily have been as it is the only one open in the town at that time.”

He wished the members of the Walsh family a speedy recovery.

Family members at the scene declined to make any comment on the record, but said they are waiting to speak to Gardaí about the cause of the blaze and the reported explosion.

One unit of the Killaloe Fire Service remained at the scene in case of any flare-ups. They were assisted in bringing the blaze under control by units from nearby Scariff and Nenagh.

Gardaí closed to the road to traffic while forensic examination was ongoing this evening.