A fire at the Avoca Handweavers clothing store and restaurant in Bunratty, Co Clare has caused substantial damage.

The alarm was raised shortly before 8pm last night.

Firefighters from Co Clare and Co Limerick fought the blaze for over seven hours.

The company employs 35 people in the outlet, which is located close to Bunratty Castle. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Simon Pratt of Avoca said: 'We Avoca Handweavers are deeply saddened by the unfortunate fire that occurred at our Bunratty premises last night. We are greatly relieved that no-one was hurt in this incident.

'We are a dynamic and growing business and we are determined that this setback will not alter our plans.'