LAK­ERS is ris­ing from the ashes this week with help from the com­mu­nity, af­ter a cat­a­strophic fire at their Sea­point Road premises. The sports and re­cre­ation club for peo­ple with in­tel­lec­tual dis­abil­i­ties has al­ready been given the use of two buses af­ter their en­tire fleet was wiped out on Fri­day morn­ing.

As of­fers and do­na­tions flood in, staff are work­ing day and night to get back up and run­ning for their 400 mem­bers. They were back on the road do­ing off-site ac­tiv­i­ties this week. In the long-term, any funds raised be­yond what’s needed straight away will go to a build­ing fund for a new premises.

The fire in the early hours of Fri­day is not be­lieved to have been started ma­li­ciously.

IN the days since fire en­gulfed the Lak­ers build­ing on Sea­point Road, the group has been given the loan of two buses and other ve­hi­cles, nu­mer­ous premises, and cash do­na­tions.

Gen­eral Man­ager Jo Heath said that it looks as though the build­ing will be con­demned, so they do not ex­pect to move back in to the Brady Cen­tre.

Four buses were de­stroyed in the blaze which took place in the early hours of Fri­day morn­ing.

‘It hasn’t even been viewed by all of the in­sur­ance com­pa­nies,’ said Ms Heath, who said that dis­cus­sions about how to pro­ceed are still on­go­ing.

They met with Min­is­ter Si­mon Har­ris and the board on Mon­day evening.

Ms Heath said that it ap­pears that there is sub­stan­tial struc­tural dam­age as well as fumes ren­der­ing the build­ing un­safe.

‘We want to thank the com­mu­nity sin­cerely for all of the many of­fers we have had,’ she said.

Ser­vices man­ager and par­ent San­dra Fa­gan said that one bus was do­nated by Jerry Malone of MT cabs. An­other was one he had given to the Ir­ish de­fence forces vet­er­ans. They haven’t even used it yet and have loaned it to Lak­ers so that they can con­tinue their ac­tiv­i­ties.

The Or­der of Malta has promised a seven-seater wheel­chair ve­hi­cle, and Cia­ran Downes of Ard­more Park has of­fered the use of an­other ve­hi­cle.

As of yes­ter­day (Tues­day) af­ter­noon, a gofundme page called ‘Lak­ers Needs a Home’ had raised over €16,200 in just four days.

San­dra said that there are many other of­fers of ve­hi­cles and premises as yet un­con­firmed.

Staff and vol­un­teers are still go­ing through ev­ery­thing and work­ing night and day to get re-or­gan­ised.

San­dra ap­pealed for a big turnout for this Satur­day’s spon­sored walk at Glen­dal- ough. Any­one who wishes to get a spon­sor­ship card or make a do­na­tion can go to lak­ There are walks for all abil­i­ties, in­clud­ing one suit­able for wheel­chairs.

‘It’s been so en­cour­ag­ing to have so much sup­port from the com­mu­nity,’ said San­dra.

She said that mem­bers are all re­ally up­set and anx­ious. They are eager to get up and run­ning as soon as pos­si­ble. The club’s 400 mem­bers range in age from five to 75. ‘ The staff and vol­un­teers have been amaz­ing. We have such a fan­tas­tic team,’ said San­dra.

Jo said that any funds not needed for Lak­ers’ im­me­di­ate needs will go into the build­ing fund. ‘We will have to make moves soon to buy suit­able premises,’ she said.

Fi­nally, Jo said that ev­ery­one at Lak­ers would like to con­vey their sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion to ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity for their help and sup­port.

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