ARLINGTON, Va. (DC News Now) — Arlington County Police have confirmed that the crash that damaged a popular pub and injured 15 people was an accident.
On Monday, police say the driver of the vehicle that crashed into Ireland’s Four Courts is cooperating with the investigation, and that alcohol was not a factor. Of the 15 people who were injured, nine were brought to area hospitals. Of those nine, only one is still suffering from critical injuries as of Monday night.
The recovery efforts for a staple of Arlington, Ireland’s Four Courts, are proving to not only be a community or statewide effort. In some ways, it’s becoming global.
While law enforcement focuses on how the crash happened, people in Arlington are working on ways to help the business and those who worked there. Oftentimes, the help is coming from people who say the pub was “a home away from home.”
Chelsea FC fans, members of the fan club Beltway Blues, often spent early mornings at Ireland’s Four Court.
“Being in a pub at 7:30 in the morning with 100 friends who all care passionately about the same team in London, it’s just a little different [than other sports environments],” said Allison Kasic, the co-founder of Beltway Blues.
Kasic said she’s such a fan, not only of Chelsea but of Ireland’s Four Courts, that she even rented it out for her wedding. That love of the pub is why now she and other football fans — regardless of which club they support — are rallying around the pub, offering money and anything else they can to help.
“We disagree on a lot of stuff,” she said. “But the one thing that is not in question is that we all absolutely love Ireland’s Four Courts.”
It’s not just football supporters — restaurants are stepping up too.
“The restaurant business is an incredible group of people,” said Danny Kammer, the general manager of Quarterdeck Restaurant in Arlington.
On Tuesday, August 16, 25% of the sales at Quarterdeck will go directly to staff at Ireland’s Four Courts.
“A restaurant, in general, is lucky to have survived COVID, especially smaller places like us and Four Courts,” Kammer said. “And for this to happen to them, you’ve just got to feel for them.”
Mark Kerwan, the owner of Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub, joined Kammer in saying this tragedy this time is so crushing.
“We were seeing light at the end of the tunnel, but for [Ireland’s Four Courts Owner] Jimmy [Fagan], it was a train,” he said.
Kerwan’s pub is hosting a silent auction and fundraiser on September 15 to raise money for Ireland’s Four Courts staff, and the medical expenses they may have.
“[Fagan] is really upset,” Kerwan said, describing the phone call the two had. “But his biggest concern wasn’t his business. It was [more] for those that were injured — that they fully recover.”
The tragedy is now bringing out the best in a community.
But some things are beyond explanation — like how a signed jersey the Beltway Blues gave the pub is somehow still framed and in–tact days after the crash and blaze.
“They couldn’t take us all down,” Kasic said. “And we’re going to be back there as soon as we possibly can.”
Another football club support group, one that roots for Tottenham Hotspur, said it’s taking its efforts across the ocean. It has reached out to the club in England, asking for items to auction off to raise money for the pub.