Dragons Den star and millionaire businessman Peter Casey has labelled those who attacked a centre he has planned for Ukrainian refugees in Co Donegal as “thugs”.
The building at Ludden in Buncrana was set on fire on Thursday night last.
Although nobody was in the building at the time there was considerable damage caused.
The former presidential candidate expressed his outrage at the attack on social media.
But he vowed that despite the attack he will rebuild the centre and make it even better than it was.
“So last night, my ‘not for profit’ center (sic) for Ukrainian refugees in Buncrana was broken into and severely damaged by fire,” he posted on Twitter.
“The sick individuals who did this do not represent the good people of Donegal. More determined than ever to open even more centers to help Ukrainians.”
So last night, my “not for profit” center for Ukrainian refugees in Buncrana, was broken into and severely damaged by fire. The sick individuals who did this do not represent the good people of Donegal. More determined than ever to open even more centers to help Ukrainians.
— Peter Casey (@CaseyPeterJ) May 12, 2023
He added a short-time later: “I will repair/rebuild the ‘not for profit’ Ukrainians center in Buncrana that thugs damaged by setting on fire last night and I will make it the best Ukrainian refugee center in Ireland.”
The development will cater for 50 people displaced by the war in Ukraine.
There were initially plans to build a three-storey apartment block on the site, but Casey then announced plans to convert the site into a refugee centre.
Meanwhile, gardaí have confirmed they are investigating the incident.
“As with all criminal investigations, the motive behind the incident will form part of the investigation,” a garda spokesperson said.
It is not the first time a Donegal premises planned to house refugees has been targeted.
In November, 2018, the Caiseal Mara Hotel in Moville was badly damaged in an arson attack days before a group of asylum seekers was due to arrive.