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SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Douglas Fire latest: Douglas pharmacy to reopen in Woollen Mills following Shopping centre blaze

A Douglas based pharmacy that was left devastated by the recent shopping centre fire is to reopen in the village tomorrow morning.

Pharmacy First Plus has been based in Douglas Village Shopping Centre for around 40 years but the business was forced to relocate following the devastating car fire which tore through the multi-story car park in August.

The shopping centre has been closed since the fire in August, leaving traders seeking alternative arrangements.

It could be next August before the centre reopens as partial demolition work is required before the car park can be rebuilt.

Michael O’Connor, owner of the pharmacy, revealed to The Echo that the pharmacy is to reopen at the Douglas Woollen Mills tomorrow morning at 9am.

Speaking to The Echo, Mr O’Connor said he was delighted at the development after what has been a tough few months.

“This is a positive development for everyone involved in the pharmacy, including staff and our patients,” he added.

“We were in a difficult position of having to redeploy staff and we were doing home deliveries in Douglas.

“But it’s great now to be back in the community again,” he added.

Mr O’Connor has signed a one-year lease with the Woollen Mills and is hopeful of returning to Douglas Village Shopping Centre next summer.

“We’ve been there for 40 years so it’d be great to return next summer,” he said.

“It’s been a tough few weeks since the fire for traders and staff and everyone impacted.

“It’s great to finally have a bit of positive news,” he added.

Meanwhile, some other traders from the fire-damaged Douglas Village Shopping Centre are hoping to open prefab stores on the nearby Douglas Woollen Mills site.

A group of traders met last week to discuss their concerns and plans.

They had hoped to meet with City Hall representatives in the coming days to discuss the possibility of opening temporary stores on the grounds of the nearby Woollen Mills.

The Echo understands that there is concern amongst the traders that planning permission may be required before the shopping centre can be rebuilt.

If that is the case, traders feel they will not be able to reopen their stores at the centre within the next year as they fear a drawn-out process awaits them.

Some traders have already established pop-up stores while others have transferred staff and stock to other locations and some are operating a delivery service.

Cork City FC announced last Tuesday that it was to open a new store in Mahon Point Shopping Centre last Thursday.

“We had a unit in Douglas Village for the past number of years and obviously the closure of the centre has had a big impact on traders, including ourselves,” said Merchandise Manager, David O’Rourke.

“This though, is finally some positive news.”