A factory owner is "living in fear" since he believes his factory shed was burned to the ground yesterday in a malicious arson attack.
Paul Lamb (58) told independent.ie that his business at Donore Industrial Estate in Drogheda was targeted by youths who have been taunting him and his eight workers in recent weeks.
Mr Lamb believes the youths are seeking revenge on him for boarding up the shed they had been using as a hang-out, before he moved his Mr Curry business to the site.
Two fire engines rushed to the scene around 4pm yesterday, and fire fighters fought the blaze for an hour.
Mr Lamb said this morning that youths have been showing threatening behaviour towards him, and they have also been targeting the business by throwing glass bottles and stones.
"We're living in fear. We don't know what else they'll do, or whether now it becomes personal and they attack me altogether."
"I went back to take a look yesterday and the whole place was like a warzone. Three of them were still there and one of them made a threat to me. I ignored him but he said 'You - come here!'. For five minutes he stayed there shouting at me."
"I'm afraid it will not end here. Luckily the fire didn't spread to the factory."
Mr Lamb spent €50,000 fitting out his factory, and he believes yesterday's incident was a lucky escape.
"They throw stones at our shutters and create a loud bang. The week before, they threw bottles. If it was just a shed, my mind would have settled but it's right next to my factory."
"There doesn't seem to be much that the guards could do, especially since no one was injured."
It is understood a garda investigation is now underway.
Mr Lamb said he believes the fire was started suspiciously.
"The fact that it was vacant for over a year before we took it meant, I think that a crowd of youths were using the shed inside the grounds. They took it over."
"We repaired the fence and backed it up with cans and drums. And I think they took revenge. They've been throwing stones at the factory gate, and last week one of our workers was afraid to come out."
He added: "When we moved in at first, we saw blankets on the floor, beer cans, and people had gotten sick. They had to climb into the factory grounds to get into the shed."