herald

Friday 24 November 2017

Drugs gang force family to flee then torch their house

Councillor Daithi de Roiste
Councillor Daithi de Roiste

An innocent family has been forced out of their home and into emergency accommodation after their house was torched by a local drugs gang.

The property in Crumlin was attacked following a number of serious threats against the family, which are the result of a local dispute with a young family member.

Gardai are investigating if a young criminal gang with close links to Kinahan cartel member Liam Byrne are responsible for the attack earlier this month.

The thugs previously warned that the family would be burned out of their home.

It is understood that the threats were issued because of a dispute with a young family member, but sources have described the family as "completely innocent".

They left their home following the threats, and the arson attack was carried out since then.

On the night of August 12, a gang of young men broke into the vacant property and trashed a number of rooms before setting fire to the kitchen.

The gang then fled the house and emergency services were alerted.

However, an eyewitness noticed the fire and ran into the house, extinguishing the flames before more damage was caused.

A source said last night that, despite "no significant" damage to the house being caused, the homeowners are too terrified to return.

"They're currently living in homeless accommodation and are too afraid to go back to their home in case another attack is carried out," said the source.

Reprisal

"The family are decent people but they're so afraid that they're not assisting gardai over fear of reprisal attacks."

Daithi de Roiste, chair of Dublin City Council's Joint Policing Committee, said the situation was "devastating" for the family.

"To see good, innocent people being targeted as collateral damage is simply not good enough," he told the Herald.

"It's devastating to think that a family would have to leave their own home after being intimidated and subjected to such attacks.

"I call on Dublin City Council and the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive to ensure that they are treated with the utmost of urgency."

A garda spokesman confirmed that officers at Sundrive Road Garda Station were investigating a fire at the property, which happened at about 10pm on August 12.

"No arrests have yet been made and inquiries are continuing," the spokesman said.

The young suspects have strong links to Crumlin mobster Liam Byrne, whose brother David (33) was shot dead in the Regency Hotel attack in February last year.

They are suspected of working as drug couriers for Byrne and even had mopeds bought for them to help ferry drugs around the south Dublin suburb.

Some of the teenagers and young men were also present at the Regency Hotel on the day of the murder.

"The fact that they were with the Byrne brothers at an event where Daniel Kinahan was present just shows how highly regarded they are by the cartel, and gardai believe they could be the next generation of lieutenants," a source has said.

Some were even flown to Las Vegas for a Conor McGregor fight, with tens of thousands of euro believed to have been spent on the group trip.

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