herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

'Gangland brothers petrol bomb shop' in Barber Wars

Gardai believe the notorious brothers may have been behind the late-night arson attack on Karlton Barbers
Gardai believe the notorious brothers may have been behind the late-night arson attack on Karlton Barbers

A barber's shop in the north inner city that was badly damaged by fire just a week after it opened may have been petrol-bombed by two gangland brothers.

It is understood the notorious criminals have a business interest in a rival establishment elsewhere in the city.

Luckily, no one was hurt during the late-night arson attack at Karlton Barbers, at Island Key in East Wall.

Gardai from Store Street Station are treating the fire as "criminal damage".

However, no arrests have yet been made.

The barber's shop is run by a highly-respected 59-year-old man from Mauritius, who has no involvement in crime.

When the shop was contacted by the Herald, a member of staff said the owner did not wish to comment on the incident, which occurred at 1.20am on Thursday last week.

Targeted

One theory being considered by gardai is that the shop was targeted by the gangland brothers who saw it as "bad for their business".

However, the criminals have no business interest in any barber's shops in the area of the city where the petrol-bomb attack occurred.

"These are serious criminals, nasty people. While they don't own a barber shop themselves, the belief is that they have a business interest in another barbers in the city," said a source.

"The suspicion is that they carried out this attack simply to put the barber's shop out of business."

Dublin Fire Brigade quickly established that an accelerant had been used in the fire.

Gardai immediately began a major probe.

They examined CCTV footage from local petrol stations and the East Wall area.

The tightly-knit community of East Wall has rallied around Karlton Barbers and helped repair the damage caused by the fire.

The shop's owner has expressed his gratitude to the community for their help.

People described the fire-bombing as a "cowardly attack" while many posted on the barber's Facebook site that the entire community was behind the business.

Smashed

The petrol-bomb attack is not the first this year.

The Flyefit gym in Coolock, which forms part of a popular chain, had been open only a few weeks when two men smashed a car into the entrance early on July 25. They then set fire to the car.

Gardai believe the ruthless 'Mr Big' drugs mob carried out the attack after deciding the gym was a threat to its own fitness centre.

In October, it emerged that the gym would not reopen.

The Coolock fitness centre incident is not linked in any way to last week's barber shop attack.

Karlton Barbers is expected to reopen in the next few days.

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