Garda investigate fire at Sandyford property far-right claimed was earmarked for housing asylum seekers

Fire occurred days after online claims the former guest house would be use to house asylum seekers

Gardaí are investigating a fire at a property in Sandyford, Dublin, that far-right groups had claimed would be used to house international protection applicants.

The former guest house, which was vacant and undergoing renovation, went on fire on Sunday evening, days after claims circulated online that it was being converted for use as accommodation for asylum seekers.

The alarm was raised shortly after 11.30pm on Sunday and the fire was quickly brought under control by fire services, preventing any substantial or structural damage, An Garda Síochána said.

“The alarm was raised by security personnel and no one was injured,” a spokesman for the force said. “The scene was examined by local Garda scenes-of-crime officers and enquiries are ongoing.”


Three fire engines from Rathfarnham and Donnybrook fire stations attended the scene.

The property was the subject of specific threats even though the Department of Integration said it was not being considered for asylum-seeker accommodation, The Irish Times reported on Saturday.

“The Dublin Brigade has been tasked with taking care of this target,” one social media user wrote in a far-right online group in response to claims a property on Dublin’s southside was being converted into asylum-seeker accommodation.

“Burn baby burn,” they added.

Up to 10 buildings that were designated or rumoured to be set for use as accommodation for asylum seekers have suffered arson or other criminal damage over the past year.

Properties affected include the Ross Lake House Hotel in Oughterard, Co Galway, which was destroyed by fire last month, and the disused Shipwright pub in Ringsend, Dublin, which was also destroyed earlier this month. The Ringsend building was due to be used to house homeless families.

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Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is a former heath editor of The Irish Times.