Garda probe after suspected arson attack at vacant pub
Gardaí in Co Meath are investigating a suspected arson attack on a vacant pub which occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning.
At around 3am a man was seen near the front door of The Last Straw pub in Bettystown Square. He was seen running from the scene and a few moments later a large fire developed on the premises.
Gardaí and the Fire Brigade were called to the scene and brought the fire under control, but a substantial amount of damage was done to the building.
The building had been vacant for a couple of years but recently a 'Sale Agreed' sign appeared outside the building.
Local Fine Gael Councillor Sharon Tolan told Independent.ie that the incident is "shocking".
"It's still unclear how it was caused but it's shocking. The building was an eyesore for a long time and people were hoping once the 'Sale Agreed' sign came up that it possibly would reopen.
"We hope it won't affect the sale. It's in the centre of the village and it just gives a bad impression."
The Councillor added that more gardaí are needed in the area to monitor incidents of anti-social behaviour which are on the rise in the village.
"There's a lack of gardaí everywhere but we've been asking for more gardaí here and we are getting some but it's not happening quick enough. It's a big enough area, so gardaí really need to nip this sort of thing in the bud as there's been a couple of complaints about this kind of behaviour," she said.
Anybody with information should contact Laytown Garda Station on 041-9813320 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111.