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The house on Forest Park, Celbridge Road in Leixlip that was subject to an arson attack this week Sam Boal/
Arson Attacks

Better communication won't do anything to change mind of someone intent on committing arson - O'Gorman

There has been 19 fires linked to anti-migrant protests since 2018 in Ireland.

MINISTER FOR INTEGRATION Roderic O’Gorman has said better communication from his Department on accommodation for asylum seekers wouldn’t do anything to stop those planning to burn a building from committing such an act.

There has been 19 fires linked to anti-migrant protests since 2018 in Ireland. 

Most recently, a vacant house in Leixlip, Co Kildare was subject to an arson attack on Wednesday

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, O’Gorman his Department received queries in recent weeks from public representatives in Leixlip about whether it was planning to use the property. 

He said the Department were “very clear” with the representatives that there were no plans to use it. 

The building, gardaí said on Wednesday, had been subject “of a significant volume of misinformation, disinformation and rumour in relation to the use or proposed use of the building”.

It is understood that protests have taken place at the house on the Celbridge Road, Leixlip, Co Kildare in recent weeks. 

A spokesperson for the Department of Integration said that house was “not under consideration for use by the Department”.

O’Gorman today said that the Department “endeavors to be as clear as possible at all times” about whether it is planning to use a building to house asylum seekers. 

However, he added: “Ultimately, if someone is going to go out and burn a building, what our Department does isn’t going to stop that. 

“Someone who has made the decision to take a criminal act isn’t going to change their decision because of better communications from our Department.”

He added that the Department will “always provide the accurate information to public reps so they can continue to provide information within their location”. 

O’Gorman was also asked whether arson attacks should be treated as domestic terrorism. 

He did not say whether they should or shouldn’t be, but added “it’s hugely important that we see the full force of the law applied to people who are undertaking these attacks”.

“It’s criminal, it’s dangerous. It’s nothing short of a miracle that no one has been injured, or worse, in these attacks so far,” O’Gorman said. 


The Minister said he is “eager to see arrests and charges take place”. However, he said arson is a “difficult crime to investigate”. 

Three people were arrested yesterday in connection with an arson attack at a building earmarked for homeless accommodation in Ringsend in Dublin. They have since been released without charge. 

The old Shipwright Pub on Thorncastle Street in Ringsend was set ablaze in the early hours of New Year’s Eve amid speculation it was going to be used to house immigrants.

However, it was never intended that refugees or asylum seekers would be housed in the building.

The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) confirmed to The Journal on 18 December that the building - formerly the location of The Shipwright pub and guesthouse – was to be used for emergency accommodation for families who were presenting as homeless.

The Department of Integration, which is responsible for housing asylum seekers and people fleeing Ukraine, said on the same date – almost two weeks before the fire -  that the International Protection Accommodation Service had “not received any proposal for this property and therefore has neither considered nor examined this property for use”.

The Department re-issued the same statement after the fire.