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Gang thug held over campaign of terror on military hospital

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Scorch marks on the outer wall and burnt trees at the entrance to St Bricin’s Military Hospital

Scorch marks on the outer wall and burnt trees at the entrance to St Bricin’s Military Hospital

Scorch marks on the outer wall and burnt trees at the entrance to St Bricin’s Military Hospital

A reckless north inner city thug has been arrested by gardaí investigating a spate of attacks at a city military hospital.

A local gang is believed to be responsible for a campaign of terror at St Bricin's Military Hospital in Stoneybatter which included a number of disturbing incidents in the last 10 days.

As part of a major clampdown, officers from the Bridewell Garda Station backed up by the Armed Support Unit made an "extremely significant arrest" when they lifted the 28-year-old criminal in the Montpelier Gardens area late on Friday night.

He was detained at the Bridewell Station before being released without charge on Saturday and a file will now be prepared for the DPP.

Recovered

As part of the armed garda operation, officers recovered €5,000 worth of drugs and an imitation firearm believed to be linked to the suspect.

Shortly after midnight last Friday, it is suspected the arrested man was seen at the medical facility with what was believed to be a handgun.

The incident was captured on CCTV and local detectives then organised a search operation.

A number of properties were targeted by gardaí in the nearby O'Devaney Gardens complex and Montpelier Gardens on which led to the arrest of the man who is believed to be a ringleader of a local drugs mob.

"The genesis of all this trouble was when gardaí made a couple of drugs seizures in the vicinity of the hospital," a senior source told the Herald.

"It seems that a local gang blamed personnel in the hospital for their stashes being seized so they decided to take action.

"There were two incidents of petrol bombs being thrown onto the property on Friday night, October 2.

"This was followed up by two more petrol bomb incidents on Saturday, October 3, at 9pm and 11pm.

"Then shortly after midnight last Friday, a man was seen in the locality armed with what looked like a handgun.

"The individual arrested later that night is suspected of being the same man who was going around with the gun and the imitation gun that has been seized seems to be the same item that he was carrying," the senior source added.

The arrested man is well known to gardaí and has well over 100 previous convictions for offences including arson, theft, criminal damage, hijacking a vehicle, trespassing, possession of weapons and misuse of drugs.

It is understood that he was only released from jail recently.

A Defence Forces spokesman told the Herald that he was aware of "several incidents" at the military hospital "which have been reported to An Garda Síochána".