DAMAGE IN ‘TENS OF THOUSANDS’ OF POUNDS
The inside of the cafe has been turned black, with kitchen appliances now feared to be useless.
Mr Breen says the damage could total £30,000 in equipment alone, without the work to carry out repairs.
He said: “I’m still so much in shock that I’ve not started calculating the total cost of what’s involved.
“The decor is a minor factor – it’s fridges, freezers, microwaves and the electrical wiring that’s gone. The ceilings are damaged beyond repair and will have to come down, and the extraction system has packed up.”
There are 11 full-time staff at the cafe, who were all asking about their positions on Monday. Mr Breen said: “They’re saying ‘what do we do, what hours do we work?’ and they’re worried about their income. They’re regular employees and we will have to pay their wages while we’re not making any money. We will look after them the best we can.”
Mrs Breen said: “It’s been a traumatic day for everyone that could have been avoided. Everybody is really upset and they’ve done their utmost to help and been working since they were allowed back in the building. They’ve been scrubbing and cleaning and are all pretty upset – understandably so, because we’re like a big family.
“We’ve got so many regular people that are going to be so disappointed that they can’t come here for a few weeks.
“It could have been a matter of life and death for somebody. It wasn’t, but it could’ve been.”