A happy day for Donegal's Happy Camper

Creeslough man donates caravan, after accident puts popular mobile cafe off the road

Carolyn Farrar

Reporter:

Carolyn Farrar

Email:

carolyn.farrar@donegaldemocrat.com

A happy day for Donegal's Happy Camper

Dominic Lafferty and Maria McCormack, with the vintage caravan Dominic has donated for Maria's Happy Camper mobile cafe.

A Creeslough man has donated a vintage caravan to the owner of the Happy Camper, after an accident put the popular mobile cafe off the road on Saturday.

"It's a brilliant good news story now," Maria McCormack, owner of the Happy Camper, said this morning.

On Sunday evening, Dominic Lafferty, a graphic designer in Creeslough, contacted Maria to offer her his vintage caravan after seeing posts on Facebook about the accident.

"We'll be back really soon by the looks of things," Maria said.

For nearly a year, the bright green caravan had been serving homemade pancakes and coffee to locals and visitors, from a location off the back of Errigal road, on the Termon side of Glenveagh National Park.

A view of the Happy Camper, at its scenic location.

Since news of the accident emerged, the public has rallied around Maria and the Happy Camper, flooding social media with good wishes and donating to an online campaign. Maria said the response had been overwhelming.

Dominic said he was happy to see the caravan used. "Obviously she was devastated to see her livelihood in the bog like that," he said. After reading about the accident, he thought, "Hang on a minute, I have a caravan."

"It was just absolutely perfect," Maria said. She said work has already begun to renovate the caravan for use as the Happy Camper.

"I was on a high after they collected it - she was so excited," Dominic said. "It's nice helping people."

"I won't forget anybody who funded me or helped me in any way," Maria said. She said that when the caravan is back up and running, "I think we'll have to have something pretty wonderful in celebrating everybody's work to get it back on the road again."

At the end of the day on Saturday, Maria had driven about 70 yards up the road when the caravan unhitched from the car she was driving, crossed the road and rolled down a drop into the bog. The 1960s caravan was destroyed.

Over the weekend a friend, Anne Marie Gallagher, set up an online fundraising campaign, "Rebuild Our Happy Camper", at the Go Get Funding web site, that has already raised more than €2,400 toward its €3,000 goal.