Republic of Ireland news

Arsonists damage hotel to be used to house asylum seekers

The damage to the Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville, Co. Donegal, where a fire broke out in the early hours of yesterday morning. Picture by Aoife Moore/PA Wire

A DONEGAL hotel that was due to welcome more than 100 asylum seekers has been damaged in a suspected arson attack.

A man in his 50s was taken to hospital for treatment after the overnight blaze at the Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville.

The hotel was set to become a direct provision accommodation centre, with around 100 asylum seekers due to arrive in the town within the coming weeks.

Irish Justice minister Charlie Flanagan condemned the attack as "despicable".

Gardai are investigating the fire, which broke out at the Foyle Street property at around 4.30am on Sunday. They said "extensive damage" had been caused.

Two people, believed to the hotel owner and his daughter, were evacuated from the building.

Mr Flanagan said: "I condemn this attack and those behind it in the strongest possible terms.

"This was a despicable incident and could have led to very serious tragedy.

"I send my best wishes for a full recovery to the injured person and all those impacted by the fire. I am urging anyone with any information with regard to this fire to contact the Gardai."

Minister of State for Equality and Integration David Stanton added: "I deplore this attack. The hotel is being prepared for accommodation by persons seeking international protection in Ireland.

"That people would target such a building in this way is deeply shameful.

"This action is not at all representative of the welcome of the overwhelming majority of people in both Donegal and Ireland as whole."

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