Dublin fire crews extinguished a blaze at a 19th Century building in the city centre last night.

Gardaí are investigating the fire as a suspected case of criminal damage.

Rawlton House, located in Sherrard Street Lower in Dublin 1, opened as a boys' school in the late 1890s.

In 2021, permission was granted by Dublin City Council to CDK Properties Limited to develop apartments at the site.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children and Integration said that the building is not contracted by the department and has not been examined for use to accommodate refugees or international protection applicants.

Social Democrats TD Gary Gannon said that false statements had been circulating on social media that the building was being renovated to house international protection applicants.

The Dublin Central TD said that he contacted the department for clarity on the matter and was told the department had no plans to put any asylum seekers in the building.

Gardaí appealed to witnesses or anyone who has information relevant to the incident to contact Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station on 01 6668400, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

On Tuesday, Deputy Paul Murphy of People Before Profit criticised the arson attack.

The TD also warned that Ireland is on a trajectory where a migrant or an asylum seeker or an Irish person of colour faces being seriously injured or killed.

The country cannot have people attacked because of racist assaults, he said.

He also condemned nightly events in Finglas, which he said were being whipped up by far right agitators.

Additional reporting Jason Kennedy