40% of the Grade B listed Crumlin Road Court House, in Belfast, was destroyed in an arson attack in March. On Friday night fire crews spent 7 hours battling another fire which caused further extensive damage and which is also believed to have been started deliberately. And last night, as the BBC report notes, “Police received a report shortly after midnight that a crowd of about 30 people were throwing petrol bombs at the building from Hopewell Avenue.” From the RTÉ report
A crowd of around 30 gathered shortly after midnight and threw petrol bombs into the building which had been extensively damaged in a fire the night before. The PSNI suspects the first fire was also started deliberately. Police were called to the scene and dispersed the crowd gathered at Hopewell Street at the rear of the building. The Fire & Rescue Service put out the blaze.
When it closed in June 1998 [the Courthouse] was put into cold storage and sealed off. Developer Barry Gilligan later bought the property from the Government for a nominal Stg £1. Initially it was expected to be turned into some form of tourist attraction but in 2006 he announced plans to turn the building into a luxury hotel but no work has ever been started.
That would be developer Barry Gilligan, Chairman of the NI Policing Board.