‘An act of hatred’ – Justice Minister
Gardaí believe those responsible for the most recent attempted arson attack on the Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey may have been keeping the hotel under observation for a number of days prior to Monday night’s incident.
For the second time in five weeks Gardaí responded to reports of a fire at the hotel, which has been earmarked as an accommodation centre for over 80 asylum seekers.
Leitrim Superintendent Kevin English said that Gardaí in Carrick-on-Shannon responded to a call at 9.45 pm on Monday night and that two on-site security personnel had managed to extinguish the fire. There had been minimal damage done to a bedroom and adjoining reception area.
Superintendent English added that a patio door window had been broken to gain entry and it didn’t appear a petrol bomb or firebomb had been used in the attack.
“I am satisfied that the people or individuals that were responsible for these fires had to be operating in this area for a number of days. These were not spontaneous attacks. They involved a careful degree of planning and I am satisfied that those responsible would have to have been in the locality for a period of time, keeping the hotel under observation and monitoring the movements of people to and from the hotel.
“It is in that context that I would ask the people of Rooskey and its hinterland to come forward and provide us with that information either at Carrick-on-Shannon Garda Station or through the confidential line,” he said.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan expressed his grave concern following reports of the second fire and said the hotel would have to be assessed once again.
“I am deeply concerned and disappointed at the reports of the fire, which broke out in the Shannon Key West Hotel in Rooskey last night. This comes just five weeks after the previous fire at the hotel. This pattern of behaviour represents an unacceptable and worrying development and should be condemned by all.
“The person or people responsible for this attack have shown a reckless disregard for the safety of human life and no respect for private property. The owners of the hotel had just completed the necessary repairs to the property from the last fire and the damage will now have to be assessed again for the second time this year”.
The Justice Minister reiterated the government’s commitment to providing accommodation for asylum seekers.
He said what happened on Monday was an act of hatred against the most vulnerable in society.
Minister for State David Stanton said the government was committed to working with the people of Rooskey.