Bundoran Fire & Rescue Service - Ireland

   DL18  DONEGAL COUNTY FIRE & RESCUE SERVICE IRELAND

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THE CENTRAL HOTEL FIRE 8th AUGUST 1980

30th Anniversary - 2010

30 Years Anniversary 8th August 2010

Sunday 8th August 2010 marked the thirtieth anniversary of the tragic fire which took the lives of ten visitors at the Central Hotel. Those who died in the tragedy and their families were remembered at the 11am Mass on Sunday 8th August 2010. At the same time prayers were offered during the Morning Service in the Church of Ireland for the same intentions.

At 2pm.in Central Lane, Rev. Noel Regan and Canon Ramon Munster blessed the memorial seat featuring the names of those who died and dedicated to their memory. They joined families, friends, Councillors, Firefighters and local people who gathered there for this sad but very special occasion.

Last Year (August 2009) in the Church of Our Lady Star of The Sea Bundoran, A special stained glass window was erected and dedicated to the 10 people who lost their lives in the Central Hotel Fire.

Central Hotel Fire - Rev. Noel Regan and Canon Ramon Munster blessed the memorial seat featuring the names of those who died and dedicated to their memory. They joined families, friends, Councillors, Firefighters and local people who gathered there for this sad but very special occasion

The memorial which was unveiled on 8th August 2010.

 The Stained Glass window in The Church of Our Lady Star of The Sea Bundoran dedicated to the memory of the 10 people who lost their lives in the Central Hotel Fire 1980

The Stained Glass window in The Church of Our Lady Star of The Sea Bundoran


Central Hotel Bundoran circa 1920

The Central Hotel, situated on Main Street, was one of Bundoran's most popular and old time Hotels. Owned for many years by the Cassidy family and in its last years by the Barrett family. It was an extremely popular Hotel, with top Clergy, Heads of State and Dignitaries from many Countries making constant visits here. It was also a popular venue for Weddings, Dinner Dances and a favourite place for the family holiday maker.

 

On August 8th 1980, the Hotel was at its height of the tourist season. There were sixty guests booked into the Hotel's 45 Rooms, which were mainly families and couples. A function was just finishing in the main dance hall next to the Allied Irish Bank, with a lot of people in the main bar.

 

 

At close to midnight, a fire started somewhere behind the main bar in a corridor leading to the main stairway, the alarm was raised and panic struck in with the people in the Hotel. Bundoran Fire Brigade was called some time just after midnight. The siren on the Firestation sounded as Firefighters made their way to the station. On the arrival of the brigade to the Hotel, the fire was spreading fast and furious, with flames coming from upstairs windows, doorways and cars parked in front of the building were alight.
The Fire Brigade quickly got to work to attempt rescues, but within minutes the Hotel was an inferno. Panic was unbelievable with parents who had children missing.  The people of Bundoran and tourists tried frantically to rescue everyone that needed help. People were being urged to jump from upstairs windows onto blankets below.

The next closest Brigade to arrive on scene was Ballyshannon, and backup of Fire Appliances were also called from as far away as Letterkenny, Sligo, Donegal Town and from Manorhamilton in County Leitrim to fight this fierce fire.  Large numbers of Ambulances from Sligo and Ballyshannon were also in attendance.

 

Brigades fought the fire and worked hard to prevent the fire from spreading to the next building, the Allied Irish Bank. When the fire was eventually under control and rescues completed, the grim task of finding dead bodies and removing them went underway. Ten people had lost their lives on that fatal night, 5 young people and 5 adults. One entire family of four - the Brennan family from Naas, Co.Kildare, perished; the body of baby Nicola Lamont from Belfast was never found among the ashes and the Kinsella family from Artane, Dublin, lost two children that night, along with Sadie Dowdican Co Leitrim, Charles (Charlie) Lazenby Co Dublin and Mary Gallagher Co Donegal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

After the fire was totally extinguished and bodies removed, local Fire Brigades remained at the scene for three days, assisting Gardai and Forensics to remove every piece of rubble piece by piece, in a hope of finding evidence of the baby, and also to determine how the fire started. The hotel was totally gutted with only the walls standing, and remained smouldering for days afterwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: All colour photos above courtesy News Footage & Black & White pictures courtesy newspapers from that date.

 

If using pictures from our website, please mention www.bundoranfirebrigade.com

The Hotel lay derelict for over a decade and eventually it was demolished and only recently a new Hotel has been built on the site.

The Central Hotel fire was one of the most serious and tragic fires in Ireland ever, which sadly was followed by the Stardust Fire Disaster in Artane on Valentines Day, 14th February the following year 1981, in which 48 people lost their lives.

Further reading on the Central Hotel Fire is available in a recently published book about the Retained Fire Service in Ireland. It's called "Firecall" by Ruairi Kavanagh and is published by Gill & Macmillan.

RTE 1 (Irelands National Television Station) also recently broadcast a programme in the "Disasters" series.


The 5 Adults, 4 children and the little baby who died in this terrible fire and their families who survived, will always be remembered in prayer and never forgotten by the Fire Service and the people of Bundoran and surrounding areas.

 

THE CENTRAL HOTEL FIRE 8th AUGUST 1980

 

We Remember those who died on that terrible night

 

  

Sadie Dowdican, Aged 60 Tullaghan County Leitrim

May those who died Rest In Peace

John Brennan, Aged 3

Naas County Kildare

Adreinne Kinsella, aged 13 Artane County Dublin

Anne Brennan, Aged 31

 Naas County Kildare

James Kinsella, Aged 9

Artane County Dublin

Deirdre Brennan, Aged 6

 Naas County Kildare

Mary Gallagher, Aged 55 Carrick County Donegal

James Brennan, Aged 31 Naas County Kildare

Baby Nicola Lamount, Aged 18 Months, Belfast Co Antrim

Charles Lazenby, Aged 47 Malahide Co Dublin

 

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh siad

 

(May they be at the right hand of God)

 

 

 

Last updated Wednesday November 30, 2016  This is not an official Donegal County Fire Authority site and is compiled and owned by

 Bundoran Fire Brigade    www.bundoranfirebrigade.com    © Paul Kelly            Best viewed with Internet Explorer 8 1024x768