Hundreds of thousands of euros worth of lifesaving equipment, owned by the Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club has been written off in the aftermath of a fire at the clubhouse in Lanesboro, which broke out just before 8:30pm on Monday night.
The area has been sealed off for forensic examination, but it is not believed that the fire was started maliciously.
Boats, jeeps and a van containing bottles and compressors have been written off and there is extensive smoke damage to the building’s interior.
Concerns are also mounting over the roof of the building which is believed to have blistered with the heat and internal wiring and fittings have been destroyed.
Chairman, Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club, Frank Casey said that the devastation caused by the fire was “heartbreaking” and highlighted that livesaving services would be out of operation for “at least two weeks”.
“We will hold a meeting in a few days time to determine the extent of the damage which at this stage is in the region of €100,000, if not more,” he explained.
“Two lifesaving boats are gone, as is a lot of other equipment and the inside of the building is extensively damaged.
“Definitely the club will be out of operations for at least two weeks; once we determine the extent of the damage and the equipment that has been salvaged we many be in a position to provide a limited service, but we will have to see.”
Local area representative, Cllr Mark Casey was at the scene on Monday night. He paid tribute to the quick response of the emergency services.
“I want to thank the Gardaí and the Fire Services,” he added. “The situation would have been much worse were it not for them. It is heartbreaking what has happened, it has taken years to build the Club to what it is today and so much has been destroyed in just a couple of hours. The services provided by the Club in this region are invaluable and the financial loss is immense. Members are very dedicated and we will be back up an running as soon as possible.”
Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club was established in 1983. A new building was added to the Clubhouse facilities along the picturesque banks of the River Shannon in Lanesboro in 2007 and was officially opened in 2008.