The owners of the much-loved The Hamper Camper mobile cafe are facing many ups and downs as they try to get back on the road.

Maria and Jane McCormack’s quirky pancake and coffee van was destroyed in a freak accident last Saturday at Glenveagh. The campervan rolled into the bog and was unable to be salvaged.

A crowdfunding movement launched by friends to rebuild The Happy Camper is getting very close to its €3,000 target. People did not hesitate to donate to the roadside cafe which brought them so much happiness on days out in Donegal.

As well as the kindness and support from friends and customers, the sisters’ story has recently gained national attention in the media.

The Happy Camper’s misfortune was the topic of discussion on The Six O’Clock Show on TV3, Today FM and other national media, which has inspired people all over Ireland rally to support the cause. Dermot and Dave have even promised to do one of their well-known adverts, called ‘Jingly Bits’, for the new cafe when its back on the road.

Kind-hearted Creeslough man Dominic Lafferty went above and beyond by donating a vintage caravan to the McCormacks, which was received with much gratitude.


Maria McCormack, The Happy Camper

Maria’s brother James Mc Cormack got stuck in with renovating the van, but they have encountered difficulties in making the vehicle suitable as a cafe.


“We are currently renovating it but unfortunately the inside is completely rotten when we removed the old outer layer. Everything has had to be stripped out and wet wood removed and now will be rebuilt,” Maria told Donegal Woman.

“We did run into difficulty when we found out that the inside is completely rotted. James is working around the clock to get it renovated.  He is working on cutting out all the new panels on the inside of the camper.

“The space is small on the inside so not much room to get help at the moment. But we are really grateful for people’s offers,” Maria said.

Maria was moved to tears today when she uploaded photos of smiling customers at The Happy Camper before the accident.

The Happy Camper on Easter Saturday

“I posted Saturday’s Happy Campers there on the page and cried at how wonderful it had become and I’m just praying that the Happy Camper Mark 2 will be a place of as much happiness,” she said.

James is keeping Facebook followers updated on all steps of the rebuilding operation on The Happy Camper Mark 2. All funds raised by the generous Happy Camper community will go towards the intensive project, and Maria is hopeful that it will be enough.

“We will do our damndest to keep within this target,” she said.

Visit the fundraiser page here: