We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

The entrance to the Wicklow site where a suspected arson attack is thought to have taken place. Google Maps.
Suspected arson attack

Gardaí investigating fire at Co Wicklow site earmarked for asylum seeker accommodation

Gardaí said that a technical examination of the site is to take place.

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING  a suspected incident of criminal damage by fire at a site that was earmarked for asylum seeker accommodation in Co Wicklow. 

The fire broke out in the early hours of Saturday morning. Fire services attended the scene and extinguished the fire. 

A garda spokesperson has said that a technical examination of the scene has been conducted and investigations are ongoing. 

The building that Gardaí believe was targeted in an arson attack is known as River Lodge in Newtonmountkennedy in Wicklow. 

The Department of Integration has been assessing the site after it accepted a HSE offer to use the vacant building and its grounds to accommodate asylum seekers, as the Government is under considerable pressure to accommodate those sleeping in tents in Dublin city. 

The Irish Examiner has reported that works being carried out as part of the assessment process had stalled at the site. It’s unclear if there are still plans for asylum seekers to be accommodated there. 

In recent weeks protests have been ongoing at the site. 

Wicklow Senator Pat Casey has previously said that the Department needs to be “transparent” about its intention for the Newtonmountkennedy site. 

He said that people in the locality need “correct and accurate” information about where asylum seekers may be housed.

Protesters are present at the site this morning – there appears to be in and around 50 people present at the entrance of the site.