Popular Mountmellick restaurant to reopen after November flood

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Popular Mountmellick restaurant to reopen after November flood

Sandbags protecting the progress at The Hare's Corner on Sunday, January 21 when the Owenass River was on high flood alert again.

A popular restaurant in Mountmellick will reopen this week after it was forced to close over two months ago due to severe flood damage.

The Hare's Corner restaurant which is on the ground floor of Mountmellick Development Association (MDA) campus in Irishtown, Mountmellick is right beside the Owenass River which burst its banks in November 2017.

At the time of the flood, Declan Furlong of The Hare's Corner spoke about the extent of the damage caused to the restaurant and how quickly it happened.

He said that the restaurant served breakfast on Wednesday, November 22 but by lunchtime they knew the water was getting very high.

Up to two ft of water gushed into the kitchen and three ft in one of the function rooms damaging everything in its path.

Extensive work has been carried out on the restaurant since to try and get it back to its former condition.

Fourteen members of staff at the restaurant swung into action straight after the flood, they helped to clean and gut the premises ahead of its repair.

Declan Furlong told the Leinster Express at the time of the flood that the staff worked tirelessly to help clean out the damage.

“Our staff are coming back from signing on in Portarlington to help with the last of the clean up in the place.

“Thanks to the customers, the support we have had from everybody has been extraordinary and everybody who came to clean up, people have been brilliant the town and the staff have been brilliant and we are just really, really, really sorry that we cannot be there for everybody,” he said.

Two months on, the recovery from the severe flood damage continues in Mountmellick and The Hare's Corner is getting back on its feet having missed out on the busy Christmas period.

The following message was posted on the restaurant's Facebook page and was met with hundreds of well wishes from the community.

"At long last, it’s time to start up the ovens. After a very fraught & stressful 8 weeks, we are SO excited to get back.

"February 1st is significant as the start of Spring, St. Brigid’s Day & the old Celtic festival of Imbolc. So, it’s also quite fitting.

"Thank you to everyone for your continued support & encouragement.

"We wish our fellow residents, many of whom are still counting the cost and/or out of their homes, the very best of luck.

"Let’s hope Mountmellick will never be so vulnerable again.

"Thank you to the management & committee of the MDA, & all the tradespeople who worked so hard in the aftermath.

"MOST especially, thank you to our amazing team who have stuck with us through all of this. We couldn’t have done this without them, their positivity & can-do attitude. Thank you lads & lassies.

"The river wrought destruction on November 22nd, but it forms such a huge part of our collective childhood memories as a place of play & beauty. Let’s not forget that."

Laois County Council recently outlined what it intends on doing to prevent further flooding in Mountmellick and Portarlington.

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