Gardaí are investigating the cause of a fire yesterday evening at the former Shannon Key West hotel in Rooskey, on the Roscommom/ Leitrim border, which had been due to open as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers.
The alarm was raised at about a quarter to eight last night.
Gardaí from Carrick-on-Shannon Garda station and a number of fire tenders went to the scene, and sealed off the area around the hotel. There were no reports of injuries, and witnesses said there was little obvious damage apart from smoke damage to the outside of the building.
In a statement this morning, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said he is deeply concerned by the incident.
He states that the hotel had recently contracted with his Department to provide accommodation for 80 asylum seekers who have come to Ireland to seek protection, many of whom, he says, have experienced conflict and trauma and are vulnerable.
The Minister concludes saying that the final preparations were being made in the hotel for their arrival. Thankfully, there were no residents in situ when the fire broke out. A security guard who was on the premises was not injured and managed to raise the alarm.The investigation into the cause of the fire must now take place.