herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Granny Rita (96) raises the roof over free offer to repair her collapsed ceiling

Rita Rafter was devastated when she was told to move out of her home because of damage to her ceiling
Rita Rafter was devastated when she was told to move out of her home because of damage to her ceiling
Rita Rafter was devastated when she was told to move out of her home because of damage to her ceiling

A 96-year-old Dublin woman was overjoyed after a kind-hearted builder offered to fix her ceiling for free.

Rita Rafter, who lives on the North Circular Road, was left devastated when she was told to move out of her home after it was deemed unsafe to live in.

Ms Rafter, who couldn't afford the repair costs herself, refused to allow her family to give her a helping financial hand. This inspired her grandson to launch a Facebook campaign.

"The mother told me that the ceiling collapsed and I went to visit her. As a laugh I brought her in a hard helmet, she loves a good laugh," her grandson Robbie Carey told the Herald. "But then she started to break down a little bit when I was there.

"She said she didn't want to move out because she'll miss all the girls. Her house is the one they all go to for the chats."

Mr Carey was overwhelmed by the reaction to his post on Facebook, which has been shared almost 3,000 times.

Help

"I'm amazed at how kind people are," he said. "I've been blown away. "I've had builders, plasterers and everyone offering to help out.

"Even people who aren't builders or whatever are sending well-wishes saying they hope it works out."

The man who came to Ms Rafter's aid is Stephen O'Driscoll, a builder with Ever Ready Building and Roofing Contractors.

"He got in touch and said send me your nanny's address and I'll fix it for her," Mr Carey said. "I told him that it's a bigger job than he might think, but he said: 'Don't be worrying about that.'

"He met my granny yesterday and they were both hugging each other. She's delighted because she doesn't have to move out now."

When asked if Rita will be having a party to celebrate, Robbie said: "Probably, she loves the craic."

"I'm not looking for any advertising and I'm not a charity organisation, but when I saw what was going on I said something has to be done," builder Stephen said.

"If it was my mother, I would want something done.

"She's a lovely woman, she's a very proud woman, and when I was told what happened I said I had to help, I couldn't just stand back. I'm not the only one who offered to help," he added.

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