File prepared for DPP following garda investigation into Skibbereen convent blaze

File prepared for DPP following garda investigation into Skibbereen convent blaze

Pictured at the scene of a fire that broke out at the former Convent of Mercy building and attached church in Skibbereen, Co Cork. Picture Denis Boyle

Gardaí in West Cork are to submit a file to the Director of Public Prosecution following an investigation into a fire at a former convent in Skibbereen, it has been revealed.

Juveniles have been questioned in connection with the blaze which caused severe damage to the former Sisters of Mercy convent on Cork Road, Skibbereen on September 29 this year.

The fire ripped through the roof of the former church and damaged the adjacent former convent.

Some eight pensioners were evacuated from sheltered housing near the location of the fire.

Units of Cork County Fire Service from Skibbereen, Schull and Bantry attended the blaze.

Fire crews from stations across West Cork are fighting a major fire at the old convent in Skibbereen on September 29th. Gardai and Ambulance crews were also in attendance. Picture: Andy Gibson
Fire crews from stations across West Cork are fighting a major fire at the old convent in Skibbereen on September 29th. Gardai and Ambulance crews were also in attendance. Picture: Andy Gibson

A statement from the gardaí on Friday, October 9, revealed that they are satisfied as to the cause of the fire following an investigation.

A garda spokesperson said:

“Investigating Gardaí have spoken to a number of juveniles and a file will be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions in due course.

“Gardaí are not seeking any other person(s) in relation to this incident at the present time.

“Gardaí wish to thank the people of Skibbereen and all those who have assisted in this investigation to date.” 

Gardai investigated the major fire at the old convent in Skibbereen which destroyed a portion of the building. Picture: Andy Gibson.
Gardai investigated the major fire at the old convent in Skibbereen which destroyed a portion of the building. Picture: Andy Gibson.

Speaking on September 29, local Councillor Karen Coakley (FG) said the town of Skibbereen was devastated at the blaze.

“It’s a beautiful building and such an important part of the town’s history.

“Many people would have gone to school there and any communion or confirmation photos were taken in the garden there.” Cllr Coakley praised staff at the Courthouse and nearby company Spearline for aiding in evacuation efforts as well as local emergency services.

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