Wednesday 16 January 2019

'We'll burn you out' threat to son of arson victim

The son of a disabled man who died in an arson attack at his home has told of threats he received before the attack.

David Costigan (55) was trapped in the house on Oldcourt Avenue in Bray as fire engulfed the terraced building at 4.30am yesterday. He was wheelchair-bound.

His son Mark, who is in his 20s, was also in the house at the time and attempted to save his father. However, he was fighting through smoke and flames and could not reach him.

Mark said he had received threats in recent days falsely accusing him of a recent incident in the Co Wicklow town and warned that he'd be burnt out of his house.

Gardai are investigating if there is a possible link between these threats and the fire.


Mark managed to escape out the back of the terraced property.

"I called out to him [his dad]. I shouted at him to answer me and show me he was ok. I heard him bang his foot on the floor upstairs so I know he was alive at that stage," Mark told the Herald.

"I had to hang out the bathroom window to get air, the smoke just filled the house."

It is understood that while there is no main suspect at this stage, gardai are examining various leads.

Sources said the early indications are that somebody kicked-in the panelling of the front door and poured a flammable liquid into the hallway before setting it alight.

Neighbours told the Herald they heard two loud bangs and then saw a wall of flames at the front door of the house.

"It was a fireball in seconds, there is no way an accidental fire could take off that quickly. This was petrol," said one man.

"I ran to the door to try and get in, but I was beaten back by the heat and smoke," he added.

Three units of Wicklow Fire Brigade fought the blaze and removed Mr Costigan's body, which was removed for a post mortem at St Colmcille's Hospital in Loughlinstown. The garda armed response unit had also attended the scene.

Gardai in Bray are appealing for witnesses.


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