Night of terror as feud erupts into 3 fire attacks in 6 hrs
- 8:45pm – Shed firebombed and extensively damaged
- 10:00pm – Deadly petrol bomb is thrown through front window of house
- 2:15am – Car firebombed, burns out at third location
A new wave of violence has erupted in the Co Louth town of Drogheda amid increasing tensions as a bitter gang feud escalates at a frightening pace.
Already this week there have been arson attacks on a house and a car as well as numerous threats issued by the feuding gangsters.
Gangland criminals linked to mob boss Owen Maguire are suspected of being behind all the violent attacks which led to at least two innocent families being caught up in the shocking violence in cases of mistaken identity.
Gardai are now trying to keep a lid on a feud that has flared up over the last few months leading to shootings, arson attacks, an alleged kidnapping and assault.
The latest attacks were carried out in the space of a few short hours across the town as the two rival factions continued to taunt each other.
In the first attack on Sunday night a shed at the rear of a house on Donore Road was extensively damaged when it was apparently firebombed at around 8.45pm.
While no damage was caused to the house, the shed and its contents were destroyed.
The violence then escalated when a house at The Drive, Riverbank, was petrol bombed just over an hour later.
The attackers smashed a hole in the double-glazed living room window and set fire to the house.
There were two people in the house at the time of the attack but they managed to escape uninjured.
However, there was extensive damage to the room and the curtains and blinds could be seen to be badly scorched.
Local sources told the Herald it was the third time the house had been targeted in recent weeks.
Glass in the front door could be seen to have been broken, and there were also scorch marks on the front door - all evidence of recent attacks.
The house remained sealed off by gardai yesterday morning pending a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
It is understood the occupants of the house have now left in fear and gardai are treating this attack as a case of mistaken identity
At 2.15am on Monday, there was a further incident not far from Riverbank when a car was targeted and set ablaze outside a house. The car was later removed by gardai for technical examination.
The owner of the vehicle has no involvement in criminality.
A spate of violence on Sunday, November 11, caused gardai to cancel leave for all officers in the district. Elite units such as armed response gardai were brought in to try to keep a lid on the situation.
A number of people were arrested and some have been charged in relation to an alleged abduction and assault of a man in a house in the Moneymore area.
While the level of violence appeared to have been quelled for a while there was evidence as recently as last week that tensions were rising again in the Moneymore area when a house was targeted in an arson attack.
Senior sources say the attacks are being led by the Owen Maguire faction.
The gang boss is now under 24-hour armed guard in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda after being moved back there from the National Rehabilitation Centre.
Armed gardai are mounting a constant presence at the Co Louth hospital.
There are concerns he will be targeted by a rival gang despite the fact this crew's leader is now locked up in jail.
Maguire (34) was blasted six times outside his home in a reckless handgun attack.
He sustained horrific injuries just after midnight on July 5 and there are fears that he will be paralysed.
The attempted murder of Maguire has been the most serious incident in the Drogheda feud in which a number of serious north Dublin criminals are also involved.
However, a massive armed garda crackdown has taken place over the past three weeks in the area which has led to some of the main protagonists on the anti-Maguire side being locked up.