Repeated arson attacks on the De La Salle monastery in Ballyfermot

By Maurice Garvey

THERE has been repeated arson attacks on the De La Salle monastery in Ballyfermot this week.

Vandals set fires at the vacant building three times over the space of Wednesday and Thursday.

De La Salle firefinal

Photo: Dublin Fire Brigade

Dublin Fire Brigade responded quickly to quell the flames.

Local councillors have called for the site to be robustly secured since it was sold to a private developer last September.

However, a major problem is ease of access to the vast grounds, which provide opportunities for anti-social behavior.

Nobody is currently living at the monastery, with the last of the De La Salle Brothers moving to St John’s last year.

Dublin City Council placed a new lock on the gate on Thursday, but Cllr Daithí Doolan has urged the new owners to sell the land to DCC for housing.

"We are lucky no one was seriously injured", Cllr Doolan said. 

"The owners must take urgent action and secure this building.”

Cllr Hazel de Nortúin, who is involved in a local interest group set up to safeguard the site for community use, said the developer is facing “serious questions.”

“I have been in contact with the council previously about the monastery being broken into and damaged", she said. 

"On foot of this, there was an agreement between the council and the developer who now owns the site that 24/7 security would be employed.

“The developer has abjectly failed in their responsibility and proven themselves unable to maintain the site.”

Cllr de Nortúin urged the site to be placed into council ownership and “protected until it can be developed in consultation with local residents.”

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