COUNTY Limerick gardai are appealing for witnesses after a suspicious fire was upgraded to arson.
In the early hours of November 1 - the night of Halloween - a fire broke out at a house being built in Milltown, Kilteely.
A number of fire brigades were called to the scene at around 1am to put out the blaze but it had taken hold and the house was gutted.
The walls were plastered and the roof had been completed. It was being built in stages so over a year of work went up in smoke.
As the house was still in the construction stage it is understood that the property was not insured.
A garda spokesperson told the Leader that it was a suspicious fire that is now being treated as arson.
“An investigation is ongoing. We are appealing to anyone who was in the vicinity of Milltown, Kilteely in the early hours of November 1.
They may have witnessed suspicious activity or saw people in the locality. If anybody has any information please contact us in the strictest in Pallasgreen or Bruff garda stations on 061-384102 or 061-382940,” said the garda spokesperson.
The arson attack has disgusted all in the parish of Kilteely/Dromkeen.
One local told the Leader that the man who owns the house is highly respected in the community.
“It is a terrible thing to happen.
“He runs a very successful business and is also involved in local organisations.
“He is a very well known and genuine man and you hate to see this kind of thing happen to him.
“Thankfully there was very little in the house but that is small consolation. It is just a shell now, the roof and all is destroyed.
“Everyone here is absolutely disgusted by this and very angry over it,” said the local resident.
Meanwhile, gardai are also appealing for witnesses in relation to a break in at Chaser’s pub in Pallasgreen.
The garda spokesperson said the pub was broken in to at around 5.30am on Sunday, November 11. “The locks on the back gates were cut and entry was forced through a back door in to the store room.
“Crates of spirits were taken with a value of approximately €200,” said the spokesperson.
Despite the early hour of the morning as the pub is located on the main Limerick to Tipperary Road there would have been passing traffic.
“We are appealing if anyone saw anything suspicious between 5 and 6am or has any information to contact us again in Pallasgreen or in Bruff garda stations on 061-384102 or 061-382940,” said the spokesperson.