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Gardaí investigate another suspected arson incident at National Children’s Hospital site

Site of the National Children's Hospital

Site of the National Children's Hospital

BAM, the construction company behind the National Children's Hospital, is reportedly offering €10,000 for information on the suspected serial arsonist

BAM, the construction company behind the National Children's Hospital, is reportedly offering €10,000 for information on the suspected serial arsonist

Ken Foy

A sinister campaign of arson is continuing at the National Children’s Hospital construction site with the latest incident happening last Monday morning.

The fire that was started at the Dublin site earlier this week is understood to be around the 20th in recent weeks.

It is the focus of a major investigation by gardaí based at Kilmainham garda station, who believe the incidents are deliberate and linked to each other. No one has been seriously injured.

The company involved in the construction of the hospital, BAM, would not confirm to the Irish Independent that, in the aftermath of the latest arson incident, a stairway collapsed as workers attempted to exit the floor, leading to one worker falling.

“This is a matter for An Garda Síochána and BAM has no further comment to make,” a spokesman for the construction firm said.

Monday’s fire is understood to have happened at around 9am and led to grave concern among some construction site workers after a fire alarm was sounded.

“The belief is that this is not someone from the outside coming in to do this but it is being done by someone inside the site, but no suspect has yet been identified and no arrests have been made,” a senior Garda source said.

Builders at the construction site in Rialto in the capital’s south inner city are expected to go on their annual ‘builder’s holiday’ over the next fortnight and officers will be monitoring the site to see if any more damage happens during that period.

A sign has gone up offering a €10,000 cash reward to anyone who may have information about the person behind the arson attacks.

Gardaí also confirmed they are investigating last Monday’s incident.

At the start of last month, it emerged gardaí were investigating whether a spate of 15 fires were deliberately set at the construction site.

In one incident a plastic bollard was set on fire and thrown down a lift shaft.

At the time, the Sunday World reported that security at the site was strict, leading to suspicions that somebody with legitimate access to the area may be behind the fires.

Senior sources said last night this remains the “main line of enquiry” for gardaí.

There are around 1,500 construction workers working at the site at any one time in what is one of the biggest building projects undertaken by the State in recent years.

Originally due to open next year, the opening of the new National Children’s Hospital has been pushed back to the second half of 2024 and the final cost of the project, which will be at least €1.4bn, is still not known.

Earlier this week it emerged BAM has submitted 906 claims for additional costs worth an extra €446 m.

The National Paediatric Hospital Development Board , which oversees the project, is spending €15 m fighting the claims, which could push the final cost of the facility towards €2b n.

A moratorium is currently in place on the claims, agreed by all stakeholders, with a view to focusing efforts on opening the hospital in 2024.

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