Firefighters battle major blaze at former orphanage in Cork
Around 20 firefighters are battling a blaze which broke out at a former convent and orphanage in Cork city early this morning.
The alarm was raised before 7.30am this morning, and emergency services raced to the scene of the former Good Shepherd Convent in Sunday's Well on the north side of the city.
The former convent had been bought by a developer with plans to develop 200 apartments - but had been unoccupied for a number of years.
The convent served as an orphanage and Magdalene laundry for young women up until the 1970s.
Three of the buildings on the site are listed structures.
Garda Superintendent Con Cadogan later said that it is the second fire at the former convent in recent years.
"Half the building has been burnt previously a number of years ago," he said.
"The other half was seen smouldering this morning at 7.30 and obviously with the wind this morning and the weather conditions, the fire went through the rest of the building pretty quickly."