Customers' lucky escape as car rammed through bar entrance
These pictures show the extensive damage caused to a Dublin pub after a car was rammed through the front door.
Pub-goers were lucky to escape serious injury after a man drove the vehicle at the pub after being refused service on Sunday night.
Gardai believe the same individual was behind an attempted assault on a member of staff at another Dublin premises only minutes earlier.
The ramming incident happened at The Laurels pub in Clondalkin shortly after 8pm.
The pub was packed with regulars and families, and a number of people were leaving the building when the incident happened.
A man, believed to be aged in his late 20s, was reportedly refused service from the pub and proceeded to attack a number of staff members.
The man eventually left, but moments later he returned and rammed his silver-coloured hatchback car through the pub's front door.
He then reversed out of the car park and fled the scene.
A vehicle believed to be the one used in the incident was later found burnt out.
It is not yet known if the car was stolen.
Staff at the pub declined to comment when contacted by the Herald last night.
Gardai believe they know the identity of the culprit, and are in the process of collecting CCTV evidence.
A source said it was "pure luck" that nobody was seriously injured.
"This act was committed with absolute intent.
"Families with young children would have been leaving the pub at this time, and it is simply pure luck that nobody was seriously injured," said the source.
"Gardai have identified a chief suspect and are in the process of tracking down this individual."
The source added that the man is believed to be from the Clondalkin area, but was not known to staff at the pub.
A garda spokesman said the ramming was being treat- ed as a criminal damage incident.
Officers from Clondalkin Garda Station are investigating the incident, but so far no arrests have been made.
The same man is believed to have been thrown out of a Lucan pub only half-an-hour before he drove a car at The Laurels.
He entered the premises shortly before 7.30pm, and after being refused service he threw a glass at a member of staff.
After security staff dealt with the man, he proceeded to throw a brick at the pub.
Nobody was injured during the incident, and no serious damage was caused.
Last month, the Herald told how two men rammed a Transit van into the front door of a pub in Duleek, Co Meath.
The vehicle, which had a Northern Ireland registration number, was subsequently set alight.
There were at least a dozen people in the premises at the time, including a 15-month-old child and an elderly man with Parkinson's disease.
All managed to escape unharmed.