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Thursday 17 October 2019

Dublin KBC branch fire bombed as farm eviction row continues to rumble

Gardai are investigating after a fire broke out at KBC Bank in Dublin city centre
Gardai are investigating after a fire broke out at KBC Bank in Dublin city centre

KBC Bank will increase security after a criminal attack during which fire broke out and windows were smashed.

Gardai are investigating after the bank on the south side of Dublin city centre was targeted at around 11.25 on Thursday night.

Firefighters put out the flames, which broke out in a lobby.

Gardai also said a number of windows had been smashed and they were investigating "criminal damage" at the building in Sandwith Street.

Cordoned

Although the fire was extinguished, the front entrance of the premises was still cordoned off yesterday.

"Gardai in Pearse Street are investigating an incident of criminal damage at premises in Sandwith Street, Dublin 2. The incident occurred at approximately 11.25pm," a garda spokeswoman said.

"Dublin Fire Brigade attended the scene and extinguished a fire in the lobby of the premises. Windows were also damaged in the incident."

Windows were smashed at KBC Bank in Dublin city centre
Windows were smashed at KBC Bank in Dublin city centre

It is understood staff were able to attend work as normal yesterday morning.

A KBC spokesman said: "As this matter is the subject of a criminal investigation by An Garda Siochana, we are not in a position to provide comment at this time."

The Belgian-owned bank has been at the centre of controversy over the recent eviction of a farming family in Co Roscommon.

A group of masked men confronted a private security firm on Sunday morning and three security guards were seriously injured, four vehicles set alight and a dog subsequently had to be put down.

A number of investigations are under way into both the attack and the eviction, which was carried out by a group of men believed to be from Northern Ireland.

Separately, Independent TDs Mattie McGrath, Michael Collins and Carol Nolan, as well as members of the Land League, attended a sit-in at the KBC branch in Baggot Street earlier this week.

Following the attack on the bank's Dublin headquarters overnight, KBC Ireland confirmed it is taking extra security measures to protect staff.

"Our staff's safety is of the utmost importance to us. We have taken additional measures to ensure that our people feel safe in their work," a spokesman for the bank said.

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