Man questioned over hotel fire


A 42-year-old local man was arrested and later released without charge by i gardai in relation to a suspected arson attack on a bungalow which forms part of the Vee-Valley Hotel, in Clogheen, Co Tipperary.

The property, which has been fire-damaged twice in the past few weeks, is expected to house up to 30 refugees. A Garda spokesperson confirmed that the man was arrested and detained at 8.10 a.m. yesterday and questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

On Saturday afternoon, gardai were told the bungalow, which is behind the hotel, was on fire. The fire occurred in a section between the patio door and the main door and there was extensive damage. Pickets placed by locals objecting to the housing of refugees were lifted from the hotel on Saturday to facilitate negotiations between committee members and the owner of the Vee-Valley, Mr Rory O'Brien.

An interim agreement while talks are continuing between both parties stated that Mr O'Brien would do nothing to the premises between now and May 25th, by which time it is hoped talks will have concluded. Last Thursday, members of the Justice for Clogheen group met the central directorate for refugee and asylum-seeker services in Dublin. The group was told the Vee-Valley hotel would house "family units from the same ethnic group". The outcomes of the negotiations with both the directorate and the hotel owner will be revealed to the local community this week at a public meeting. It is expected that people will vote whether to accept the outcomes of both meetings.