Fire breaks out again at proposed Leitrim asylum centre

Fire crews called to Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey in wake of January blaze

Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim-Roscommon border, after it had been  damaged by fire a month ago, on January 10th. File photograph: Brian Farrell

Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim-Roscommon border, after it had been damaged by fire a month ago, on January 10th. File photograph: Brian Farrell

 

A Co Leitrim Hotel that had been due to open as an accommodation centre for asylum-seekers has gone on fire for a second time this year.

The Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey on the Leitrim/Roscommon border had been due to open as accommodation for 80 people.

Fire crews were called to the scene after a fire broke out shortly before 10pm on Monday night. The blaze was quickly brought under control. Gardaí said it was too early to say whether they were treating the fire as arson.

It is the second fire at the former hotel since the start of this year. Last month a fire broke out in the reception area. It is believed that blaze was started deliberately.

The former hotel is one of two planned for new direct provision centres due to be opened by the Reception and Integration Agency. It has room for approximately 80 residents.

The planned centre, the Caiseal Mara Hotel, in Moville, Co Donegal, which has a capacity of 100, was severely damaged in a fire in November. A third centre, which has room for 100 people, opened at the Grand Hotel in Wicklow town in December.

Five of the 38 direct provision centres dotted around Ireland are oversubscribed with residents, while the majority of other centres are close to capacity.

The 39-room Shannon Key West hotel is the subject of proceedings between Paradub Ltd, which wants to develop it as a tourist hotel, and businessman James Kiernan, the owner of the property.

The hotel closed in 2011 and Paradub claims it entered in 2016 into an agreement to buy the hotel for €600,000 from Mr Kiernan, of Glenart Avenue Blackrock, Co Dublin, which he had failed to complete.

Paradub initiated High Court proceedings in 2017 after it discovered from local media reports that a plan had been put in place to use the property to house asylum-seekers.

When the case returned before the High Court last November, it heard that plans had been put in place under a third-party agreement with the Department of Justice for the hotel to be used as accommodation for asylum-seekers from last month.