Sunday 4 December 2016

School prefabs destroyed in suspected arson attack

Published 04/06/2015 | 10:09

Fire at Castleknock Community College
Fire at Castleknock Community College
School fire, Castleknock

Gardai are investigating a serious fire that gutted disused classrooms at a Dublin secondary school.

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A prefab building in the grounds of Castleknock Community College in Dublin 15 was destroyed in the blaze that broke out early on Monday morning.

At around 3am five Dublin Fire Brigade units were dispatched to the scene and spent around two hours battling the blaze.

Investigation

Gardai are investigating "all circumstances" surrounding the incident and have refused to rule out foul play.

They are asking anyone with information about the fire to come forward.

Principal John Cronin told the Herald that he suspected the fire was started deliberately, as there was no electricity running in the building at the time.

The building had been due to be demolished before the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert got under way and had been cleared out recently.

"I imagine somebody threw a match in and it caught on dry wood," said Mr Cronin.

"I think it was just one of those things that the building inspired curiosity and someone thought it was a good idea [to start a fire].

"Thankfully, no damage was done to the main buildings and we have been liaising with local residents in the area," he added.

"The fire services were superb and have been in touch with me since," he said.

It was "unusual" for something like that to happen in the area surrounding the school, the principal added.

Local Independent councillor David McGuinness said that a lot of people in the community were "really disgusted" by the possibility that the fire was the result of an arson attack.

Reported

The local representative said that a resident living in a house beside the school had reported anti-social behaviour there some time before the fire broke out.

However, he claimed that they were told there were no Garda units available to respond at the time.

Gardai in Blanchardstown declined to comment when contacted about these claims by the Herald.

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