City pub gutted by blaze
GARDAI are investigating the cause of a fire which severely damaged a landmark Dublin 4 pub.
The blaze took hold at the family-run Merrion Inn on Merrion Road, extensively damaging a large section of the roof and much of the interior.
A garda spokesman told the Herald an investigation is ongoing but there is no evidence at this stage to suggest "anything out of the ordinary".
Located opposite St Vincent's hospital and close to the RTE campus in Donnybrook, the pub is run by the McCormack family, who also own McCormack's of Mounttown in Dun Laoghaire.
The family did not comment when contacted by the Herald today.
Nine units of Dublin fire brigade rushed to the scene after the alarm was raised shortly after 4am yesterday. It took more than five hours to put out the blaze.
No one was injured in the fire.
Forensic officers from the Garda attended the scene for an initial investigation, which continued today.
Images have revealed the extent of the damage, with gaping holes in the roof and a badly damaged interior. Part of the roof had collapsed, while both upstairs and downstairs areas also damaged.
Gardai are understood to be examining whether the fire started accidentally outside the pub and are viewing CCTV footage.
Part of Merrion Road was closed for several hours while the fire was fought.
The pub is popular among rugby supporters for watching matches and is also a favourite watering hole of RTE staff.
The Merrion Inn employs 20 full-time and part-time staff.
Last year, Fearghus McCormack, a barman at the pub, won the title of Pilsner Urquell International Master Bartender, beating finalists representing 15 countries.