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Wednesday’s Top Stories: Homelessness chief defends communication strategy, Teacher-sharing scheme to tackle shortages

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Homelessness chief defends communication strategy amid criticism following Ringsend arson attack

The director of the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has defended the service after politicians said they were not told of plans to create homeless accommodation at a vacant pub in Dublin which was then set on fire.

The fire broke out in the early hours of New Year’s Eve at the Shipwright pub in Ringsend and took six fire tenders several hours to bring under control. Gardaí have confirmed that the fire was the work of arsonists. The building has been at the centre of false rumours, spread by far-right campaigners, that it was to be used to house dozens of asylum seekers. Last month, anti-immigration protests were held at the building.

A row escalated on Tuesday after several politicians and local representatives called for a better communications strategy from the Dublin Region Homeless Executive and a formal notification process. It is understood that the DHRE and the Department of Integration told public representatives who contacted them in mid-December that it was not intended to use the site for asylum seekers.

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