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The fire on Thorncastle Street, Ringsend Dublin Fire Brigade/X

Gardaí set up incident room and appeal for witnesses to fire at former Dublin pub

A former pub on Thorncastle street was lit ablaze in the early hours of Sunday amid speculation it was going to be used to house immigrants.

GARDAÍ HAVE SET up an incident room and are appealing for witnesses to an arson attack in the Ringsend area of Dublin.

A former pub on Thorncastle street was lit ablaze in the early hours of Sunday morning amid speculation it was going to be used to house immigrants.

No-one was in the building at the time of the incident but there was substantial damage caused to the property.

Gardaí and Dublin Fire Brigade, including six fire engines, attended the scene and the fire was brought under control by firefighters.

Gardai have appealed to anyone who may have information in relation to the incident to contact them, particularly road users and pedestrians in the vicinity of Thorncastle Street between 1am and 2.30am on Sunday, 31 December.

An incident room has been established at Irishtown garda station and the probe is being led by a senior investigating officer.

In their appeal for witnesses, a Garda spokesperson said they are aware of “a significant volume of misinformation, disinformation and rumour in relation to the use or proposed use” of the building.

Last month, protests took place over speculation the vacant property was due to be used to house asylum seekers.

The Department of Integration has said there were no plans to use the building for that purpose.

However, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) confirmed it had planned to use the property “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 DRHE said in a statement yesterday.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also noted that the premises were intended for use as emergency accommodation for families and in a statement yesterday, he said: “If this was the result of a deliberate act, all efforts will be made to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Meanwhile, in his New Year’s Day homily on World Peace Day, Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell remarked that “condemnation is not enough”.

“It is not enough to condemn incidents like yesterday’s fire in Ringsend; we have a responsibility to understand and urgently address the roots of this unwarranted fear, and the harm it unleashes.”

He added that “every person has a shared sacredness that reaches across our national borders”.

-With additional reporting from Diarmuid Pepper

Press Association