Meath West TD, Peadar Tóibín, has said that derelict buildings in the county have become a magnet for anti social behaviour.

He told Meath Live, “I was made aware of a fire which took place yesterday evening at the vacant school building on Patrick Street in Trim which was attended by Meath Fire Services. On contacting Meath County Council I was informed the fire was started  maliciously. It appears this is not the first instance of fires started at the empty building as a result of anti-social behaviour. We cannot say this is in anyway surprising when a building of this size owned by the state has been allowed to remain empty for a decade”.

Tóibín continued “Meath County Council in response to my questioning earlier today has stated they have contacted the Department of Education and LMETB to request that the building be more secured to prevent further occurrence of fires and other anti-social behaviour. At this stage it’s not enough just to secure the building.

‘We have an ongoing housing crisis here in County Meath. Only just yesterday Meath County Council has put out yet another request on their social media for expressions of interest for accommodation owners and services to offer emergency  accommodation.

‘My office staff and myself are inundated with people requiring urgent accommodation from people who have received termination notices for their private rented property with nowhere to go, and people who are sleeping in their cars, friend’s couches and back garden sheds. The recent government announcement of a €50,000 grant for vacant houses to be brought back into use is far too little and far too late.

‘The same inaction on the repurposing old state buildings like St. Mary’s is another example of how far removed this government is with the reality of the homeless situation on the ground. I have been in contact with LMETB today to request an update on the old school building in Trim and we need get a decision now as quickly as possible on it’s future to used to brought back into the community use for people of the town and surrounding areas”.