The manager of the Everglades Hotel has sent a message of thanks to the people of the city for their support following the recent bomb.
Neil Devlin said he had been overwhelmed by the number of people who rallied round to support the staff following the bomb attack.
“The support has been phenomenal,” he said.
“That night the work carried out by the emergency services was second to none.”
Neil revealed how he had been at home in his bungalow close to the hotel when the alarm was raised after a bomb was left at the reception.
“We immediately evacuated the hotel,” he said.
“I was quite calm at the time, because initially I believed it was most likely a hoax. Immediately the support started coming in. The City Hotel was on the phone offering help.
“City Cabs sent 20 cars over to transport the guests. The following day Airporter sent their bus to transport guests from the City Hotel back to the Everglades to pick up their belongings. Some of the guests needed medication.
“Jim Roddy’s support that night was invaluable. I also have to thank Claude’s Cafe who sent over sandwiches and soup for everyone.
“And local politicians who offered their help. The phone never stopped ringing.
“Staff from the Everglades Hotel all came in that day to work, whether they had been on the rota or not.”
Neil revealed that he almost missed his own holiday to California as he had been due to fly out that day.
“My bosses were amazing,” he said.
“They told me that I had to go on and as hard as it was to leave, I did, and in fact on holiday I proposed to my girlfriend, Leeann. We’re now hoping to have the hotel completely open again by the second week of August, but we are 90% there already.
“We had thought the damage was confined to the lobby but there was a lot of smoke damage too.
“Genevieve McWilliams and the team at Derry City Council were very supportive in getting the hotel back to normal.
“I’d always heard about the generosity of Derry people but now I’ve seen it first hand myself.
“I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped the hotel get back up and running so quickly.The people of the city have been amazing.”