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The fire at the hotel in Oughterard in December.

McEntee asks public to inform Gardaí on 'upcoming' threats in wake of Galway hotel arson attack

The hotel was earmarked to house asylum seekers.


GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING an arson attack on a Galway hotel that was earmarked to house asylum seekers have searched four properties in the locality and made seizures, as the Justice Minister is urging anyone with information related to attacks on accommodation centres to come forward to Gardaí

Helen McEntee has said that the garda investigation into the incident has made “good progress”, and she urged anyone with relevant information on past incidents, or on “upcoming threats” to come forward to Garda

A garda spokesperson said that searches were conducted in the Rosscahill area of the town this morning by personnel from both the Galway Divisional Crime unit and the National Bureau of Crime Investigation.

The officers were seeking to obtain evidence linked to the arson attack on the Ross Lake House Hotel in Rosscahill on 16 December. 

To date, the investigative team have taken 145 statements relating to the attack on the hotel.

The Garda Commissioner previously told the Policing Authority that Gardaí believed the perpetrators of the attack were locals, at a meeting last month. 

The garda spokesperson said that a number of exhibits were seized from the houses that were searched today, which will now be subject to analysis “which will determine the next stages of the investigation”. 

They added that Gardaí are conducting a “large scale” investigation into the arson attack on the hotel. 

An incident room has been established under the direction of a senior investigating officer. To date, the investigating team have conducted 229 investigative tasks and taken 145 statements in relation to the attack. 

The Gardaí are once again renewing their appeal for anyone with relevant information to come forward.

“The investigation team would like to thank the local community for their support to date and are appealing for anyone who may have information regarding this incident to contact them.

“In particular, members of the community in the Roscahill, Oughterard and surrounding areas who may be able to assist Gardaí are asked to come forward.

“Gardaí can be contacted at Clifden Garda Station on 095 22500, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station,” a spokesperson said.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee today once again condemned recent arson attacks. 

She said that the Gardaí are doing “everything possible” to investigate recent acts of arson. 

“I understand they are making good progress in their investigations and i encourage anyone with any information in relation to any of the incidents to contact them. 

“I would ask anyone with information either on past incidents or about possible upcoming threats to contact their local Gardaí,” McEntee said. 

The Justice Minister said that there can “never be justification for such acts, regardless of circumstances or alleged motivation.” 

McEntee added that Department of integration officials “notifies and engages with local communities through their Community Engagement Team in advance” where accommodation centres are being established. 

The Garda Commissioner told the Policing Authority that this is not the case, and that often Gardaí find out about accommodation centre plans at a late stage, and through local contacts. 

McEntee said that Gardaí are “continually monitoring emerging threats, including social media activity, and stepping up policing responses as necessary”. 

She said that her Department is fully committed to fight the fight “against racism and bigotry and strongly condemns the actions of those who abuse and attack others because of their own prejudices.” 

“Ireland is a diverse and tolerant country, and such behaviour is not acceptable,” she added.