McGrath condemns reckless arson in Downpatrick at old Downe Hospital site.
SDLP South Down MLA, Colin McGrath has condemned the reckless arson at the old Downe Hospital building in Downpatrick, urging those involved to “wise up” and show some regard for the community.
Mr McGrath said: “I was very sad to see the fire and damage to the old Downe hospital building in Downpatrick last night which is under reconstruction at present to become new and much needed social housing.
“It is appalling that this is being treated as arson. For people to cause such reckless damage and waste the time of our emergency services during a pandemic is grossly irresponsible and they should just wise up.
“This is an old iconic building in Downpatrick and a connection to the rich caring and health service heritage of our town and local people.
“There was some anti-social behaviour at this site just last week with a fire set and a security guard at the location assaulted by local youths.
“I urge those involved to wise up and recognise there is no support in the community for these sort of reckless actions, said Colin McGrath.
The construction work on the site is being managed by EHA Construction from Eglington. To date there have been a number of incidents on the site since work began a year ago but this is the worst incident to date.
EHA Construction advised that they have security ongoing at the site and hope that there are no more incidents of damage to the old buildings.
Police are investigating a report of arson which occurred at the old vacant hospital premises at the Ardglass Road area of Downpatrick on Tuesday 9th February.
Inspector Weatherald said: “Shortly before 7:50pm, it was reported that Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service were in attendance following a fire in the building. It is believed that a number of rooms inside the property were damaged. The fire was extinguished following the incident.
“Enquiries are continuing and at this stage, and the fire is being treated as deliberate.
“We would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at the time of the incident, to contact police on 101 quoting reference number 1750 09/02/21.”
A report can also be made online using the non-emergency reporting form via:
You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at: