Gardaí investigate suspected arson attack at Rosslare site earmarked for asylum seekers

Anti-immigration sentiment examined as possible motivation for attack at former Great Southern Hotel site in Co Wexford

Gardaí are investigating a suspected incident of arson at the site of proposed asylum seeker accommodation in Rosslare, Co Wexford.

Forensic examiners have gathered evidence from the site of the former Great Southern Hotel which is being developed into an International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) centre to accommodate about 170 asylum seekers in the coming weeks.

Gardaí are examining anti-asylum seeker sentiment as a possible motivation for the attack which occurred in the early hours of Thursday and left a teleporter forklift truck gutted by fire.

The site has been the scene of frequent protests against the proposed asylum seeker accommodation. There is no suggestion the protesters were involved in the attack and leaders of the demonstration have condemned the incident.


“Gardaí have received report of an incident of criminal damage by fire that occurred at approximately 4am on Thursday, 30th of November 2023, in the Rosslare Harbour area of Co Wexford,” a Garda spokesman said.

“No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing.”

The former hotel has been due to become a nursing home before a decision was taken to develop it into the international protection centre.

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher

Conor Gallagher is Crime and Security Correspondent of The Irish Times