Sunday 25 August 2019

Nine mobile homes destroyed in blaze

CCTV should be in operation in Courtown by the end of the year to deter further crime

The aftermath of the blaze at Parklands Holiday Park
The aftermath of the blaze at Parklands Holiday Park

Cathy Lee

Nine unoccupied mobile homes were destroyed and one lorry was damaged after a blaze broke out at Parklands Holiday Park in Ardamine, Courtown during the early hours of Wednesday morning resulting in significant damage.

'The report came in at 3.40 a.m. that there was a large fire at O'Loughlins caravan park. Nine unoccupied mobile homes were damaged alongside a nearby truck, but nobody was injured. There was a significant amount of damage done that was substantial, and an investigation under Inspector Pat Cody, the detective branch and members of Gorey district Gardaí is ongoing,' said Sgt Stephen Ennis.

Today (Tuesday), Wexford County Council will open a tender for the provision of a CCTV system in the Courtown and Riverchapel area in efforts to stop anti-social behaviour.

'This will be a welcome addition in efforts to stop anti social behaviour, the starting of fires and illegal dumping. There are only a small minority who cause problems in the area, it won't deter all anti social behaviour and solved every problem but the installation of CCTV will certainly help identify the culprits,' said Cllr Malcolm Byrne.

'It has taken a long time, about four of five years of campaigning alongside former councillor Robbie Ireton, but we're finally moving to a situation now where we could see these cameras installed and working by the end of the year. It's budget depending, but the CCTV will try to capture the main areas of Courtown and Riverchapel. Like in Gorey we have CCTV on the Main street and side streets and it has been helpful, as people are aware that they are being monitored, but it's still essential that members of the public report anything suspicious to the Gardaí,' he said.

Estimating that the fire at Parklands Holiday Park started at 3.28 a.m., twelve local fire fighters attended the scene with two fire engines, the Chief Fire Officer confirmed.

A similar incident happened at the Parklands Holiday Park in May of last year, when six mobile homes that were uninhabited were severely damaged by fire.

Speaking to the owner of the Parklands Holiday Park, Thomas O'Loughlin, he said that he was aware of the similarities to last year's fire.

'The mobile homes were located in the storage yard and nobody was hurt, and I was alerted about the fire by a neighbour at around 3.30 a.m. As I said last year the very same, I've no idea how this happened, I could speculate but I genuinely just don't know,' he said.

'I want to thank the emergency services for the wonderful work they did in containing the fire and preventing further damage,' he said.

Former councillor, Robert Ireton who also has a caravan park business in Courtown said that incidents like these leave a bad taste.

'It's an unnecessary thing to happen in the area, making it hard to continue in business and it is giving the area a bad name,' he said.

The cause of the fire remains undetermined, and no arrests have been made but investigations into this incident of criminal damage by fire remain ongoing.

Anyone who was witness to or noticed any suspicious activity during the early hours of Wednesday morning is asked to contact Gorey Garda Station on 053 9430690 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

Gorey Guardian