Author: Dara Bradley
~ 2 minutes read
The ongoing Garda investigation into the fire that gutted a Connemara hotel earmarked for 70 asylum seekers is centred on video footage of the burning building which went viral on messaging apps and social media.
The incident at the Ross Lake House Hotel in Rosscahill last Saturday night (December 16) – which Garda Commissioner Drew Harris confirmed was being treated as a deliberate arson attack – has been condemned by representatives across the political spectrum.
And as the fallout reverberated, Fianna Fáil confirmed it instigated an internal disciplinary process over comments by two Galway County Councillors who blockaded the hotel after it was announced last Friday the property would be used to accommodate 70 male international protection applicants.
Meanwhile, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (CEDIY) has not ruled out using the property or site off the N59 for migrants in future.
In a statement to the Connacht Tribune, a Department of CEDIY spokesperson said: “An assessment of the building will need to be undertaken regarding any possible future use, in consultation with the provider.”
Gardaí made door-to-door inquiries in the area between Oughterard and Moycullen this week and appealed to the public for information.
It’s understood one aspect of the ongoing investigation is centred on the origins of a viral video of the burning building, circulated on WhatsApp and other social media and messaging apps.
The video showing the hotel engulfed in flames – taken soon after the fire started – was shared thousands of times.
Gardaí said the incident happened around 11.35pm. Nobody was inside the building at the time, but it was extensively damaged before Fire Services brought it under control.
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