herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Smoke alarm may have saved woman and two teens in firebomb attack

The front of the home that was firebombed in the early hours. Photo: Independent News & Media
The front of the home that was firebombed in the early hours. Photo: Independent News & Media

A house was rocked by a suspected petrol bomb yesterday as a woman and two teenagers slept inside.

A fire broke out at the home in the south of Drogheda, Co Louth, at approximately 2.15am.

The woman and teens were woken by a smoke alarm, which may have saved their lives.

A neighbour with a fire extinguisher helped stop the blaze from spreading.

Feud

Extensive damage was caused to the property by flames and smoke, but gardai said no injuries were reported.

They are investigating the attack as part of an increasingly violent feud between drug gangs in the town.

Local sources said the occu- pants of the house are not involved in criminality.

However, gardai fear it is related to the ongoing feud, which has seen shootings, firebombings and tit-for-tat reprisals for more than a year.

In a spate of similar attacks in recent months, the homes of innocent people have been shot at or torched.

Initial signs are that the front kitchen window of the house targeted yesterday was smashed before a petrol bomb was thrown in or a flammable liquid was poured in and ignited.

There was extensive damage to the kitchen, but the intervention of the neighbour helped to stop the flames from causing further damage.

The family dog, which was asleep in the kitchen, escaped unharmed.

Gardai have intensified their activities in the town since gang member Owen Maguire (35) was discharged from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in April.

Paralysed

He had been receiving treatment there after surviving a feud-related shooting outside his home last July which left him paralysed.

Last February, his brother, Brendan (39), was targeted in a gun attack at the M1 retail park.

He was shot several times as he sat in his car but survived.

Tensions have also been running high since gang leader Cornelius Price, a close associ- ate of the Maguire faction, was released from prison after serving a three-year sentence for the reckless endangerment of a garda.

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