herald

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Family's terror as drug lord firebombs their car in vendetta

AN INNOCENT family are living in terror after their cars were firebombed because they work in the ice cream business. Drugs gangsters are attempting to put the family out of business so they can gain a greater market share.

A convicted armed robber is using ice- cream vans as a way to launder money, gardai believe.

The feared gangland criminal and druglord is suspected of ordering a terrifying attack on the O'Brien family in Firhouse, south Dublin.

It was the latest installment in a campaign of terror that the O'Brien family from Firhouse have endured over the past six years after becoming targets of a notorious Tallaght-based armed robber and drug dealer.

Thomas O'Brien (39) told the Herald: "This has left my family in a very bad way. We had no idea that this was going to happen.

"There was nothing to suggest that they would come after us in this way.

"We are hoping that the culprits have been caught on CCTV, otherwise it will be very hard for the gardai to catch them."



Damage

Our exclusive pictures show the damage that was caused when the O'Brien's Ford Galaxy people carrier was set on fire at 3.50am on Sunday.

The 08-reg vehicle was completely gutted in the attack.

During the attack, thought to have been carried out by at least three people, a granite rock was thrown through the front door of Mr O'Brien's family home.

The O'Brien family were in the house at the time and the attack left his 11-year-old daughter particularly terrified as she was woken by the commotion.

Gardai from Rathfarnham are investigating the incident.

Sources have confirmed that some close associates of the crimelord suspected of ordering the attack were seen in the Firhouse area immediately after the attack but no arrests have been made.

Other incidents endured by the O'Brien family include a grenade attack, five arson attacks, dozens of their cars being smashed up and threatening phone calls.

Mr O' Brien told the Herald that he is "at a loss to know" why his home was targeted as there had been no incidents for over a year. "There is just no end to this -- this man will not give up. It is an unbearable situation," Mr O'Brien said.

In an arson attack in August of last year almost €100,000 of damage was caused when two of Mr O'Brien's vans were set on fire at his dad's property in Firhouse.

That arson attack was the first time that the O'Brien's had been targeted since 2009.



Gangster

The gangster suspected of ordering Sunday morning's attack is believed to have been at a big boxing fight in the UK with some of his closest associates last weekend.

The feared trafficker has been enlisted by Ireland's richest international drugs syndicate to try to recoup hundreds of thousands of euro in cash that is owed to them.

The money drive is being led by Daniel Kinahan (35) -- the playboy son of Christy Kinahan (55) -- the jailed crime godfather who is the brains behind a multi-million euro drugs and crime cartel.

Sources say that the relentless cash drive is causing massive underworld tensions and could lead to a gangland murder.

hnews@herald.ie

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