Fire at Dublin building to be used for homeless families

Dublin Fire
Image caption,The fire started at about 02:00 on Sunday

A fire at a Dublin building due to be used as emergency accommodation for homeless families is being investigated by police.

The building, formerly the Shipwright pub on Thorncastle Street in Ringsend, was vacant.

The fire started at 02:00 local time on Sunday and was brought under control by Dublin Fire Brigade at about 05:00.

Six fire engines and nearly 30 firefighters were involved in putting the fire out.

A Garda (Irish police) spokesperson said the scene was being preserved for forensic examination and enquires were ongoing.

The Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Leo Varadkar said he was relieved that no-one was injured in the fire – adding that the building “was intended for use as emergency accommodation for families”.

In a statement, Mr Varadkar said: “The incident in Ringsend is under investigation by An Garda Síochána (Irish police), which is doing everything it can to determine the cause of the fire.

“If this was the result of a deliberate act, all efforts will be made to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Shipwright fire
Image caption,About 30 firefighters and six appliances battled the blaze

That was echoed by Irish Justice Minister Helen McEntee – who said that if the blaze was the result of a deliberate act “the perpetrators will be brought to justice”.

“Arson is a very serious crime which carries heavy prison sentences,” she said.

“No one has the right to cause damage to property, to cause fear or to threaten public order.

“An Garda Síochána are doing everything possible to determine the cause of the fire.”

‘Very disappointing’

In a statement, Dublin Regional Homeless Executive said it had planned to use the building for emergency accommodation for families.

“We have a number of families who are currently homeless and seeking accommodation in the area so it is very disappointing,” the statement said.

“Families who experience homelessness are like any other; some are working, all are trying to juggle schools and busy lives as well as looking for somewhere to rent.

“If we cannot open facilities, there is a risk that families will not have access to basic shelter.”

The building was the scene of anti-immigrant protests earlier in December, after claims that it was to be used as emergency accommodation for asylum seekers.

However, a spokesperson for the Department http://clasicccop.com/ of Integration confirmed to Irish broadcaster RTÉ that it had no plans to use the building as such.

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