Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has expressed his deep concern at a suspected arson attack on a vacant HSE building in Dublin linked to the housing of migrants.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee added that she was appalled by the fire, which broke out at St Brigid’s Nursing Home in Crooksling, near Brittas, on Sunday morning, February 4.
Minister McEntee also stated that, “those responsible will be brought to justice.”
The future of the nursing home site had been a point of discussion for some time since its closure in March 2020.
A group is said to have been holding demonstrations at the property in protest of possible plans to accommodate refugees at the property.
However, the protesters who remained near the site on Sunday, claimed to have no involvement in the incident and that they were there peacefully.
An engineer will formally assess the building’s safety, before gardaí can conduct a full technical examination.
In a statement, gardaí have said that a technical examination will be carried out by the DMR South Scenes of Crime unit, assisted by the Garda Technical Bureau, as soon as it is feasible, the results of which will guide the investigation.
Gardaí have confirmed that control of the scene has been transferred from the fire services to An Garda Síochána and have appealed to anyone with information to contact Tallaght Garda Station on 01 6666000 or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.
The Mayor of South Dublin, Independent councillor, Alan Edge, praised local firefighters and said he was shocked and appalled by what had happened.
“I think it’s important to say that these protesters don’t represent the majority of people in Brittas and certainly not in the county,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of people in Brittas, who are absolutely shocked and appalled by what’s happened and who wants to make it clear that these people don’t represent them.”
Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald accused the government of failing to handle immigration well, rendering portions of communities feeling “powerless as big changes happen.”