Limavady charity targeted by arsonists offered help from Australia

Police on scene at the Men's Shed located at Roe Mill Road in Limavady. Photo: Dessie Loughery
Police on scene at the Men's Shed located at Roe Mill Road in Limavady. Photo: Dessie Loughery

A Limavady charity targeted by arsonists has revealed they have been flooded with offers of help to rebuild from as far away as Australia.

The Roemill Road property used for the Men’s Shed project run by ‘Be Safe Be Well’ in Limavady was left gutted after a fire early on Sunday. The attack brought widespread condemnation from across the community, and was described as “an attack on the community” by project coordinator Catherine Taylor.

Mrs Taylor has vowed the project, which helps men who are unemployed and living alone, will be back in action soon.

“Well it has been an emotional day as we have assessed the damage of the fire at our Men’s Shed project, Limavady,” said Mrs Taylor on the charity’s Facebook page.

“Men’s Shed members, staff, committee members and community leaders gathered at the house to look at what is left of the project which has taken countless hours of volunteer hours to build. Despite the sadness at what we found, the overwhelming focus of everyone present was how we were going to rebuild, redecorate, repair and reopen as soon as possible.

“The good news is that we are staying at the site and we will share our plans of how we are going to get the project going again with you all shortly.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response and support of the community in Limavady and beyond, and this has given us hope and encouragement to reopen.

“We have received messages of support from our fellow ‘shedders’ all over Ireland and from the Executive Officer of Men’s Shed Australia plus one of pioneers of the Men’s Shed movement in Australia, Professor Barry Golding.

“We have had many offers of help from Limavady Council staff, as well as our mayor and councillors. Once again, we would like to thank everyone for their encouraging words and support.”

Police continue to appeal for information about the arson.

“This was a deliberate attack on a local Community House which is highly valued by the people who avail of its facilities,” said Limavady PSNI.

Chief Inspector Alan Hutton, Area Commander said: “I appeal to anyone who was in the Roe Mill Road area on Sunday 18 January prior to 7.30am and noticed anything suspicious in the area or that has any information that would assist detectives with their enquiries to contact CID at Limavady on 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”