herald

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Brother of gun victim admits to feud van attack

Cliff Whitehouse, whose brother Benny was shot dead in Balbriggan last month
Cliff Whitehouse, whose brother Benny was shot dead in Balbriggan last month

Gardai are continuing to closely monitor a murderous feud after a home was smashed up by thugs.

The vandalism happened just hours before a 39-year-old man, whose brother was shot dead last month, pleaded guilty to his role in one of the first incidents in the feud, which happened last November.

Yesterday at Dublin Circuit Court, Cliff Whitehouse (39), of Knockbrack Downs, Drogheda, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at Chapel Street in the town on November 11, 2013. Judge Mary Ellen Ring set a sentence date of February 24, 2015.

Armed gardai were drafted in to keep the peace outside St Peter and Paul National School in Balbriggan, following feud-related attacks.

On one occasion, just before 9am on November 11, a van was forced to mount the footpath as children made their way to school after a gang of men allegedly used baseball bats to smash its windows in.

Last month, Cliff Whitehouse - with a previous address at Ring Commons, Naul, Co Dublin - was sent forward for trial along with his brother Benny in relation to the violence.

One week after their court appearance, Benny (35) was shot dead just a short walk from the school after dropping his daughter off.

The Herald has learned that incidents linked to the feud are continuing with the latest being an attack at a home at The Hastings estate in Balbriggan, which occurred at around 9pm on Wednesday in which a number of windows were smashed in at the property.

reckless

This followed a road ramming incident and a reckless petrol bomb attack at the weekend, with gardai braced for more attacks.

Earlier this week, officers from the armed regional support unit were called out to deal with a situation when a close associate of Whitehouse was involved in a car chase with a senior member of the mob suspected of killing Benny Whitehouse.

Gardai from Laytown and Ashbourne stations were initially dealing with the terrifying car chase, which began when members of one faction saw the other in Duleek, Co Meath.

Sources said that threats and abuse were traded between the two factions as children travelled in both vehicles involved.

However, the chase came to a halt at the Donore Road roundabout on the outskirts of Drogheda when armed gardai arrived at the scene just seconds after one van smashed into the back of another van.

In the second incident, an innocent family was targeted in a petrol bomb attack at St Anthony's Park, Drogheda, at 4.30am on Monday

kfoy@herald.ie

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