26 Sept 2022

Cafe owners vow to re-open after blaze rips through Longford premises


The scene from Monday's fire at Equires Coffee in Longford town

The owners of a Longford restaurant extensively damaged by fire this week have said it is their “full intention” to return the premises to its former glory.


Fergal McGovern made the admission on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after a blaze ripped through his Esquires Coffee establishment at Longford’s N4 Axis Centre.

Mr McGovern, who owns the premises with his wife Rhona O’Sullivan, told of how the fire which is believed to have emanated from a fryer, had caused wholesale damage to the building.

“It’s an absolutely terrible and unfortunate incident to have happened,” he said.

“There is obviously significant smoke and fire damage to the unit, but we are obviously insured and it is our full intention to re-open that unit and make it bigger and brighter than ever.”

No injuries were reported as a result of the blaze as customers and staff managed to evacuate the premises before the fire took hold off the building.

Smoke could be seen billowing into the sky as gardaí and a number of units from Longford Fire Station attended the scene moments later.

Several members of the public could be seen watching on as the scene was cordoned off.

Mr McGovern, in heaping praise on the quick thinking and bravery of staff, singled out the “dedication and professionalism” from local fire brigade officers in what he described was a “very difficult fire” to control.

The Carrick-on-Shannon native said he was also well aware of the impact the events of Monday afternoon would have on the 20 staff who are employed at the outlet as well as a loyal and substantial customer base.

“We are very conscious of that, the people who have been with us and who don’t have a job to go to tomorrow at a time when we are in the middle of a cost of living crisis and to all of our customers who have been so, so supportive of us,” he added.

He said despite the prospect of re-opening the premises in the short to medium term was off the table for now, other possibilities were being considered to ensure the Esquires name remained in place among Longford’s retail fabric.

“We are going to look at all options available to us and see if we can open what we did in Carrick which was a pod type system to facilitate take away business in the short to medium term,” he said.

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