Traders warn that tonnes of meat and fresh food will rot inside Douglas Village Shopping Centre

Traders warn that tonnes of meat and fresh food will rot inside Douglas Village Shopping Centre
People gather to watch the cars being lifted from the car park at Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Douglas, Cork which was damaged by a large fire last weekend. Picture Dan Linehan

HUNDREDS of thousands of euros worth of meat and food will be left to rot inside Douglas Village Shopping Centre while demolition works are ongoing.

Traders have raised fears that food supplies in the two supermarkets, two butchers and six restaurants in the centre would rot as electricity supplies are cut off to the building.

There is currently no access to the shopping centre, which will remain closed until phase one of the car park demolition is complete. 

One of the first cars is hoisted from the car park on the roof of Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Douglas, Cork which was damaged by a large fire last weekend. Picture Dan Linehan
One of the first cars is hoisted from the car park on the roof of Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Douglas, Cork which was damaged by a large fire last weekend. Picture Dan Linehan

These works will begin next week but there is still no completion timeline.

Mark Hayes from O’Brien’s Cafe said raw meat would quickly become rancid without refrigeration and is likely to attract insects and rats.

“A big issue is the amount of raw meat and food that is going off in the centre.

“There is no access to the centre for traders and there is no electricity at the moment,” he said.

Mr Hayes said the fire is having a devastating impact on the local community.

“It’s a big loss to Douglas itself, 300 people at a rough estimate are out of a job.” 

Fellow trader Vicki Creber, from Itso Me, said everyone is in limbo.

“We can’t go in and assess our units, we are not sure how badly we have been affected and we don’t know when we will be trading again.

“Legally and insurance wise we don’t know where we stand. We don’t know when and if we can trade again soon.” 

Cars are removed by crane from Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Cork following an accidental fire which severely damaged the multi-storey car park.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision
Cars are removed by crane from Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Cork following an accidental fire which severely damaged the multi-storey car park.Pic Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

Ms Creber said she just had a delivery of autumn/winter stock to her clothing store and they would likely be out of fashion by the time she gets access to them.

“We are independent traders, we have no fallback, we employ local people.”

She said traders were wiped out in 2012 and it took them around five years to get customers back.

“It’s a lot to take. It is catastrophic. We are all just dizzy. There are livelihoods destroyed by this.

“The food aspect is serious, think of all the little critters that will get in there.” 

Meanwhile, a massive logistical operation involving large cranes got underway today to remove the first of up to 190 cars trapped inside the fire-ravaged car park. 

Reunited with his Ford S-max car is George Finn, Douglas, Cork Picture Dan Linehan
Reunited with his Ford S-max car is George Finn, Douglas, Cork Picture Dan Linehan

George Finn was among the first to be reunited with his car. His Ford S-max avoided Saturday's blaze which has completely destroyed up to 60 vehicles. 

Many other people are still waiting for their vehicles to be returned.

More in this section

Sponsored Content