herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Feud calms as thug in attack on car is jailed

A jail sentence handed down to a thug -- who was part of a gang who smashed a car with bats while a two-year-old girl was sitting in it -- has eased tensions in a bitter local feud that has been raging for years.

Finglas man David McDonnell (31) was jailed for 18 months for his role in the terrifying attack in April of last year in which a pregnant woman's car was attacked while her baby was harnessed in her car seat.

Sources say that McDonnell, who has 36 previous convictions, played a major part in a violent dispute that has been ongoing between a number of families for over five years.

The woman at the centre of last week's case fled to Manchester after her Finglas home was firebombed last August in what sources say was an attempt to intimidate her.

But tensions have now eased with the jailing of McDonnell, who has been battling a serious drug problem for years.



Screaming

The woman cannot be named here to protect the identity of her children.

Dublin Circuit Court heard that the woman left her baby girl in the car along with her eight and 10-year-old sisters, while she went into Tesco in Finglas to shop for the family.

She was alerted when the older girl came towards the shop screaming "someone is breaking up the car".

When the woman rushed out, she saw her baby screaming, while two to three men were smashing up the car with bats. She was struck on the back of the legs with bats as she freed the child.

The leader of a family which has been dispute with McDonnell's crew told the Herald that his family "welcomed" last week's sentencing.

Michael Collins (39) from Avila Park, Finglas, who has been nicknamed 'The Boss', said: "There have been at least three similar cases over the past five years.

"I know the victim well and she was so brave and courageous to get up in court to read her own victim impact statement.

"What happened in court last week is good because it shows people living in the community that this gang are not above the law."

kfoy@herald.ie

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