Mr Eamonn Begley, owner of the Cycle and Trophy Centre Clanbrassil Street Dundalk, said he and his family have been overwhelmed by the support they received after the fire which destroyed their premises on Sunday before Christmas.
“We really want to thank our customers, the traders of Clanbrassil Street, and all the other local traders for their support.
“We are very grateful for all the offers of help and I would also like to thank the fire service and the Gardai for everything they did.”
The business operated from Costcutters up until Christmas Eve to faciltate customers. Several local traders had offered help. Some of the offers of support have come as far away as Dublin.
Five units from the Louth Local Authority Fire Service battled the blaze that broke out in the Cycle and Trophy Centre at the north end of Clanbrassil Street at 11am on Sunday 22 December.
It is not known how the fire started but the shop and the flats above it were completly gutted in the blaze. Nobody was injured.
Gardai have launched an investigation although it is belived that the fire started accidently.
Clanbrassil Street was closed until Monday morning. The area surrounding the building remained closed after that.
The fire units remained at the scene until 8.30pm Sunday evvening, but returned at midnight when embers spread to the roof of the Greenmount restaurant next door which was also badly damamged.
Mr Paddy Malone, PRO Dundalk Chamber of Commerce, said the fire could not have come at a worse time.
“It is a absolutely terrible thing to happen”, he said. God help them.
He also reminded people that Clanbrassil Street re-opened Monday and for the majority of shops it is business as usual.
“We would like everyone to know that Clanbrassil Street is open and they can come down and shop as per normal.
“All shops are trading apart from those damaged by the fire, and of course our thoughts go out to them.
“Trade was very badly hit in that part of the town that following Monday morning.
“But I would urge people to go and support the businesses there especially after Christmas considering what has happened.
Business people in Dundalk have commended the fire service’s expertise in handling the balze.
“When you think of all the tyres and inflammable products that are in a premises of that nature, it is remarkable how well the blaze was contained,” one business person said.
Clanbrassil Street was closed between Batchelors Walk and Yorke Street over Christmas as the fire extensively damaged a number of commercial premises, and following an inspection by a structural engineer from the town council, the building presented a danger to the public. Businesses along the rest Clanbrassil Street remained open for business as usual.