herald

Thursday 12 December 2019

Gardai to probe arson attack as family flee fire

The scene of the overnight arson attack in Cromcastle Court, Coolock, which caused significant damage to the apartment
The scene of the overnight arson attack in Cromcastle Court, Coolock, which caused significant damage to the apartment

A Dublin criminal and his innocent female relative were lucky to escape serious injury after their home was set alight in an early-morning petrol bomb attack.

The targeted arson was carried out at around 4.30am yesterday at the Cromcastle Court complex in Kilmore, Dublin 5.

A downstairs window was smashed and accelerant set alight, causing significant damage to the apartment.

A 26-year-old man, recently released from prison, was inside the property at the time along with an innocent female relative in her 40s.

No injuries were reported and both are said to be "extremely lucky" to have escaped the apartment unharmed.

Detectives are probing if the arson attack is linked to a recent outbreak of violence in Coolock and surrounding areas in recent months.

Several assaults, arson attacks and shootings have been carried out in the past number of weeks as part of a complex feud involving a number of different criminals.

Sources said that the man targeted yesterday morning has been involved in a local dispute with a teenage criminal from the Coolock area.

Shocking

The teen is a close associate of murdered drug dealer David 'Fred' Lynch and is the chief suspect in a shocking gun attack on two gardai in August.

It's understood this teenager has been involved in a minor row since the 26-year-old's release, and that the arson attack may have been carried out as part of this local issue.

"There are concerns of retaliation attacks because of this. The young man targeted yesterday is connected and this may not be the end of the matter," a source told the Herald.

Gardai are also investigating if it is linked to the wider Coolock feud. A close male associate of the 26-year-old targeted yesterday has previously been the subject of at least two attempts on his life in recent months as part of that dispute.

Members of the Drugs and Organised Crime Bureau (DOCB) arrested two men and seized two firearms in a pre-planned operation in July.

A man in his 30s, linked to the recently-released criminal, was believed to have been under threat at the time of the weapons seizure.

Dozens of people living across a number of north Dublin suburbs including Santry, Coolock and Ballymun have been identified as being linked to the violence or being at risk of being targeted.

On Saturday morning the home of an innocent family in the Clonshaugh area was targeted.

Gardai said that an investigation into yesterday's fire at Cromcastle Court is continuing and that no arrests have yet been made.

There was evidence of the fire after gardai sealed off the flat pending a forensic examination by members of its technical bureau.

A scorched mattress was removed from the flat during the fire by members of Dublin Fire Brigade.

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