Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

New salon gutted in suspected arson attack

Less than two weeks after the official opening of their new bespoke premises, the owners of a hair and beauty salon in Jonesborough say they are beyond devastated after it was completely gutted in a suspected arson attack.

On Saturday 7th December, mother-and daughter team Aislinn Woods and Bernie …. hosted an official opening night of their new salon, Mamma Mia Hair and Beauty, located in the Mulkerns complex in the village.  

The salon had been trading for less than a month, having opened its doors on November 19th.  Posting on social media, owner Aislinn Woods conveyed their devastation and thanked local businesses that rallied to their aid in the aftermath of the fire.

“We are beyond devastated to have woken up to our worst nightmare possible,” Aislinn posted on Wednesday.

“In the early hours of this morning our new premises were completely destroyed. We had just opened the doors to our new venture on 19 November 2019 and just four weeks later this was cruelly taken away in a matter of minutes by a suspected arson attack.

“It is very difficult to understand how anyone could be so malicious, after our blood, sweat and tears went into making this dream a reality.”

She appealed to anyone who may have information that could help the police investigation to come forward or contact the PSNI.

Apologising to her customers for the inconvenience, Aislinn revealed the salon has relocated to temporary premises in Jonesborough and she vowed they will come back “bigger and better than ever in the New Year”.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Larkin and Mickey Brady MP visited the scene on Wednesday morning.

Afterwards Mr Larkin said: “Police are investigating the cause of this fire which has left the owners and staff devastated at the loss of this fully furnished hairdresser salon. Fire and emergency services attended the scene as quickly as possible and we thank them for their efforts in ensuring the fire didn’t spread. We await the outcome of the ongoing investigations.”

On Thursday, friends of Aislinn and Bernie set up a GoFundMe page, appealing for financial donations to help them get their business up and running again.

The appeal detailed how the new Mamma Mia salon had “brought a great dynamic to the village” and how Aislinn and her family had invested so much “time, money and love” into getting the fledgling business off the ground only for it to be taken away in a matter of minutes.

“This is Christmas week and the busiest week of the year for somebody in the beauty industry and this kind-hearted therapist’s livelihood now lies in a pile of burned-out rubble. If anyone can help Ashlinn it would be appreciated. I can’t even express how overwhelmed she is with the support of her clients, local community and other businesses in the area. Thank you,” the appeal read.

With a target of £20,000, donations totalling more than £1,300 had been made by Saturday.

Meanwhile, police are continuing their investigation of the incident and have appealed for information.