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Builder offers to fix devastated 96-year-old granny's ceiling for free

Rita Rafter
Rita Rafter

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

Rita Rafter, who lives on 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 grandchildren and family to give her a helping financial hand, which 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.

“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,” Robbie Carey told Independent.ie.

Mr Carey was overwhelmed by the reaction with his Facebook post, which has been shared almost three thousand times.

 “I’m amazed at how kind people are. 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,” he said.

"We are really grateful for the hundreds of offers and the other building cmpanys that offered to do the repairs for free, including Keith O'Brien of Coleman O'Brien construction.

In his heartfelt Facebook plea, Robbie promised any GAA fans free parking and a cup of tea before games in Croke Park if they offered to help.

“Hi everyone. I want to see if there is still good left in the world. This is my 96 year old grandmother.

I'm not joking when I say she is the kindest loveliest person out there. She lives in at the back of Croke Park but recently has been told that she has to move out because part of her ceiling collapsed and now it is unsafe.

She is absolutely devastated.

She never thought she would out live her own home. She won't let her kids put money into getting it fixed even if they could afford to.

If there is anyone out there who knows of a grant that she would be entitled to get it fixed can they please pm me or if you own your own building company and wanted to do this lovely old lady a favour and make it possible to spend the rest of her life in her own home on her own road amongst her own friends she and I and her entire family. Would be forever grateful.

I will personally Labour for you. If your a GAA fan there is free parking and a cup of tea in it for you before the games.

Thank you in advance.

Please share.”

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.

“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 Ms Rafter will be having a party to celebrate, Robbie laughed: “Probably, she loves the craic,” he said.

“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 told independent.ie

“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 and leave this. I’m not the only one who offered to help.”