A well-known public house on the Cork-Kerry border, destroyed by fire last May, is to rise from the ashes.
The landmark Top of Coom hostelry, which boasts of being the highest pub in Ireland at more than 1,000ft, is to be rebuilt in 2013.
Kerry County Council has granted planning permission to owners Tim and Eileen Creedon for a pub and private residence similar in size and character to the original fire-damaged building. Construction work is due to start early in the new year.
The building, which included the Creedon family home, was gutted by a blaze on the night of May 21.
The licensee Mr Creedon had been treated for smoke inhalation after he helped an elderly customer from the premises.
The family escaped serious injury but lost all their possessions.
Three fire brigades were called to the scene in a mountainous area between Coolea and Kilgarvan.
Publican and county councillor Danny Healy-Rae, who lives in Kilgarvan, yesterday said everyone in the area was delighted the Creedons would be resuming business again.
“There’s great goodwill towards the family which has suffered a lot because of the fire. Their premises drew people from a number of parishes and places such as Coolea, Ballyvourney, Ballingeary and Kilgarvan.
“It was a place where the boundary of Cork and Kerry met and the scene of a lot of banter before Munster (football) finals between the counties. It’s great news that the place is to reopen again and I’m sure the Creedons will be supported by the same communities,” said Mr Healy-Rae, a friend of the Creedon family.
The Top of Coom was, for generations, also a haunt of traditional singers and musicians and was frequented by hill walkers.
A green and gold Kerry flag was often seen to see to fly from the building which declared itself the highest pub in Ireland after friendly rivalry with Johnny Fox’s pub, in south Dublin, some years ago.
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