'When will these people stop?': Heartbreak at destruction of beloved mill in overnight blaze

A local group said they are not only heartbroken by the destruction but fearful of the potential for future tragedy. 
'When will these people stop?': Heartbreak at destruction of beloved mill in overnight blaze

Arson damage in Ballincollig regional park on Friday night.

Latest: The volunteer team behind who work to promote the historic Powdermills site in the Ballincollig Regional Park have said they are devastated after an overnight fire gutted the old mill structure. 

The park has previously been the site of suspected arson attacks and vandalism and Gardaí have launched an investigation into the fire. 

"Our hearts are broken this morning at the sight of this latest fire," the Powdermills App volunteers said this morning. 

The group said they are not only heartbroken by the destruction but fearful of the potential for future tragedy. 

"This building was a beautiful reconstruction of an original mill building, commissioned by Cork County Council in 1992 and opened to the public in 1993. 

"Months of tireless work by skilled craftspeople and a decade of planning. All burned down in a matter of minutes. 

Near private homes and a care centre 

"This blaze was set in a building located right beside private residential buildings, a care home for the elderly and a secondary school. If the temperatures here had been anything like mainland Europe is seeing right now, the canopy of trees would have easily set alight and spread the flames to these surrounding buildings. 

"Yes, history was destroyed. Yes, years of work was destroyed. Yes, unimaginable damage was done. 

"But - when will these people stop? Do we have to witness a terrible tragedy before corrective action is taken?" 

Lord Mayor of Cork Colm Kelleher, who is a Ballincollig councillor, described the fire as 'soul-destroying'.

"This is beyond a joke a this stage," he said. "To the gurriers that did this you will be found and dragged before a court. I’m sick to death of this almost weekly at this stage in the Park. 

"This is our town, our history. Cameras are sadly now the only option. 

"I’ll be liaising with the executive this morning. I have just spoken with Gardaí - an investigation is now under way." 

Earlier: Cork City Fire Brigade red watch crews have been busy overnight with a number of 999/112 calls.

Included in the 999/112 calls that Cork City Fire Brigade crews responded to was a well-developed structural fire in Ballincollig Regional Park, a house fire and a number of outdoor fires.

The fire brigade is reminding people to dial 999/112 in an emergency.

Cork City Fire Brigade responding to the fire in Ballincollig Regional Park.
Cork City Fire Brigade responding to the fire in Ballincollig Regional Park.

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