Ireland

Probe into fire at vacant property wrongly linked to housing for asylum seekers

It comes days after vacant buildings in Brittas in Co Dublin were set alight.

Detectives are investigating a suspected arson attack at a vacant house in Co Kildare, which was wrongly rumoured to be planned accommodation for asylum seekers.

The building, according to gardai, was the subject of a “significant volume” of misinformation, disinformation and rumour in relation to its use or intended purpose.

The seven-bedroom detached house in Leixlip was linked to housing for asylum seekers.

It is understood that protests have taken place outside the property in recent weeks.

Rumours were spread on social media in recent days that the property was earmarked to house international protection applicants.



It is the latest in a series of attacks on properties that have been linked to housing for refugees.

It comes days after vacant buildings in Brittas in Co Dublin were set alight.

The seven-bedroom detached house in Leixlip was wrongly linked to housing for asylum seekers
Garda The seven-bedroom detached house in Leixlip was wrongly linked to housing for asylum seekers (Niall Carson/PA)

Demonstrations have been staged in the area recently by people who believed the buildings at Crooksling, off the Blessington Road, were to be used to accommodate refugees.

The latest attack is the 19th fire linked to anti-immigrant protests in the last year.

Gardai said they were alerted to a fire at the vacant residential property on Celbridge Road at approximately 1.30am and attended the scene.

Local fire services also attended and the fire was brought under control at a later stage on Wednesday morning.

Gardai said that no one was in the building at the time of the fire, but that substantial damage was caused to the property.

The scene is currently preserved pending a full technical examination.

An incident room has been established at Leixlip Garda Station and the investigation is being led by a Senior Investigating Officer (SIO).

Gardai have appealed to anyone who was in the vicinity of Celbridge Road and Forest Park between 12.30am and 2am and who observed any unusual activity to contact them.