THOSE responsible for the deliberate fire at a popular Celtic bar in Govan are being hunted by Police Scotland as it was announced that the Tall Cranes will close for at least six months while it undergoes refurbishment.
The Tall Cranes (above) will use the extensive works to upgrade the bar, which it is hoped will provide a new and improved pub for patrons from Govan and beyond to enjoy again in 2020.
Sadly staff have lost their jobs as a result of the closure of the pub, which was part of a targeted campaign of fire starting aimed at the Tall Cranes at a time heightened tensions in Govan.
In the weeks before the incident there had been several failed attempts at arson on the premises and widespread Loyalist intimidation and disorder following an Irish Unity march in Govan, led by the James Connolly Republican Flute Band—which is based at the pub.
Speaking to The Irish Voice, Tall Cranes leaseholder Danny Rodgers explained the reaction of the Govan Irish community to the attack and the plans to unveil a new and more modern Celtic bar in the district.
“Everyone at the Tall Cranes is heartbroken that we have had to close for refurbishments after the recent deliberate arson attack, particularly for our patrons and the local people who use the pub as their focal point,” he said. “We are even more sorry for our staff members who are now unemployed are facing hardship for themselves and their families as we approach Christmas.
“It is regrettable that so many local families were disrupted by this dangerous behaviour, which forced them from their homes and left many young children to leave their beds after midnight on a school night and seek alternative accommodation for their safety.
“We will not allow this attack to prevent us from providing a place for local people from all communities to socialise and relax and are already working hard on the refurbishments in preparation for reopening as soon as they are complete.
“We will improve the Tall Cranes in the hope of bringing a West End bar to Govan and bringing our staff and customers back to a new pub for everyone to enjoy.
“We thank all the locals, supporters clubs and friends of the pub who have kindly donated money to help staff and their families and for their continued support. We look forward to updating everyone with good news about the future of the pub as we work towards reopening.
“After recent events we are bowed but unbroken and we will come back stronger.”
A major investigation was launched by CID detectives in the aftermath of the targeted attack, and Detective Inspector Peter Sharp of Govan CID spoke about the danger presented to local families by the fire starters who had singled out the Tall Cranes.
“It has been fortunate that on this occasion, nobody has been harmed by the fire,” he said. “But the incident meant that some local residents were disturbed during the night and moved from their homes while the fire was put out.
“We have a dedicated team of officers working to establish the full circumstances of the fire, which we believe was started deliberately.
“This behaviour will not be tolerated and I would like to reassure the local community that we have launched a thorough investigation into what happened and will work to bring those involved to account for their actions.”