herald

Saturday 19 April 2014

Bin workers told 'be extra vigilant' after €1.5m arson

EMPLOYEES at a Dublin-based bin company have been warned to be "extra vigilant" after nine of its lorries were targeted in a suspected arson attack.

The City Bin Co has confirmed it is "significantly increasing" its security arrangements following Friday night's incident at a South Dublin depot.

A major garda investigation has been launched after two men wearing balaclavas climbed through the gates of the facility and attempted to torch nine of the firm's lorries.

The men were caught on CCTV dousing petrol on the bin lorries and managed to completely torch six of the nine they targeted.

Followed

Gardai were today continuing to investigate the "sinister" incident and are understood to be examining claims that the firm's staff have been "followed" to the depot in recent weeks.

Founder and Chief Executive of The City Bin, Gene Browne, told the Herald that the attack has sparked significant safety fears.

"It was extremely intimidating and sinister to say the least. I've been in this business for 15 years and I've never received the type of phone call I received on Friday night," he said.

"We have now left that depot and will be considering all on security arrangements on the advice of gardai. The fact that only our trucks were targeted is for me, extremely suspicious," he added.

Mr Browne described the culprits as "brazen" after they were seen continuing to douse the vehicles in petrol while some were already up in flames.

"The first truck had already gone up but they just continued to target more. I've never seen anything like it.

"The main thing though is it has not deterred us. We are determined to offer residents in the capital an excellent service and have a full operation today."

Gardai from Crumlin have advised Mr Browne and his staff to be "extra vigilant" as they continue their hunt for the two individuals responsible.

It is believed that the pair climbed through the gates of the depot, based on the Green Hills Road, between 10pm and 11pm on Friday night.

The yard contained fleets belonging to a number of other firms -- however only the vehicles belonging to the City Bin Co were targeted. Some six of the lorries were completely burned out - while a further three suffered less serious damage.

It is estimated that the attack will cost the firm up to €1.5m in repair bills.

Gardai were today examining CCTV footage taken from the scene. The video is believed to show the men dousing nine of the vehicles with petrol before setting them alight.

Sinister

The incident has been strongly condemned by city councillors. Chairman of the Dublin City Joint Policing Committee Gerry Breen described the attack as "targeted and sinister".

"This incident is very sinister and I hope that the Gardai will assign all resources to discovering the source of this arson attack," the Fine Gael councillor said.

The City Bin Co was originally set up in Galway but expanded to the South Dublin area in 2007.

Last month, the firm announced that it was taking on Greyhound Recycling in the Dublin City region -- the first private firm to do so since the service was sold by Dublin City Council.

noconnor@herald.ie

Opinion

Entertainment News