Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Astoria in Bundoran is gone!

I saw this earlier in the week but didn't have time to post it, but Sean sent it on to me so I thought I'd better post it! The old Astoria Ballroom in Bundoran burned down over the weekend. The Garda think it might have been started and are looking for youth seen acting "suspiciously" nearby shortly before the fire started. Many, many, many, bands or showbands played there over the years, and Meatloaf played there on his first trip to Bundoran in 1990 (he came back this year and played in a big tent off Astoria Road).

I'm sure many's of you auld ones have memories of going clubbing there! I'd never been there meself, actually I don't think I've ever been out in Bundoran? I guess I should rectify that at some point.

Garda probe after famous dancehall gutted in blaze:
GARDAI are investigating the cause of two weekend fires, one of which destroyed one of the country's best-known dancehalls.

The Old Astoria Ballroom in Bundoran, Co Donegal, which is owned by well-known hotelier and football manager Brian McEniff, was gutted by the blaze ... two firemen were treated in hospital for minor burns suffered while fighting flames, which at one stage were leaping 30 feet into the air.

Fireman from Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Donegal town and from across the border in Belleek, Co Fermanagh, took several hours to bring the blaze under control after it broke out shortly before 11.20pm on Saturday night.... The fire was reported by revellers on their way home from nearby pubs when they saw smoke pouring from beneath the doors of the famous dancehall which had been closed since 2006.

A spokesman for Bundoran fire service said that by the time the first crew arrived in less than six minutes "the whole building was ablaze".

Gardai are investigating reports that some youths were seen acting suspiciously near the building a short time before the blaze was reported. Owner Brian McEniff, manager of Donegal's 1992 All Ireland GAA champions, said: "Gardai ordered a number of youths away from the area the night before and some more were reported in the vicinity not long before the fire."

More from the BBC:
And the Irish Times:
Gardai are investigating reports that youths were seen acting suspiciously near the building a short time before the fire broke out. The building had been closed since 2006 when part of it was used as a bar.

Anyone got any tails or stories to tell about the Astoria or going to the Astoria? Or anyone got any pics I can post?

Irish Showbands has an old pic of it, looks like it might have been a postcard?


Teresa said...

I can remember going to the Astoria in the 60's whilst visting grandparents in Ballyshannon. I have some photos of me dancing there - will try to find and post...
One of the guys I am with was a garda - Frank Fitzpatrick I think. Wonder if he is still around?

Mick T. said...

Thanks for the comment Teresa. It would be great to see the pics. :)