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Monday 24 July 2017

Latest head shop attack sparks organised crime probe

Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

GARDAI are investigating suspected organised crime links to another arson attack on a head shop.

Two men are being sought after a car was parked in front of the Rasta Power head shop in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, and set on fire, causing damage to the exterior of the building.

The attack, which happened on Monday night, was the second time the same head shop was targeted in the past fortnight.

It follows a spate of attacks on head shops around the country in recent weeks.

While gardai are keeping an open mind about the attacks, suspicion has fallen on disgruntled drug dealers, whose revenue has been affected by the popularity of so-called 'legal highs'.

Two hooded men parked a black Hyundai Accent outside the shop on Railway Street around 11.30pm on Monday.

They had waited for a taxi driver to move his car away from the kerb so they could get closer access.

The men got out and proceeded to set the car on fire before fleeing the scene.

The fire brigade was called and quickly brought the blaze under control before it could spread further.

Petrol

A similar incident happened on April 7 when a Nissan Primera, loaded with petrol cans, was set alight outside the same premises.

No one was injured in either attack.

The owner of the shop had no comment to make to journalists yesterday.

There has been a spate of attacks on head shops around the country since February 12 when the Nirvana head shop on Dublin's Capel Street was burnt down.

Days later, the Happy Hippy shop on North Frederick Street in Dublin was also fire-bombed.

Last month, an army bomb squad had to deal with a device outside a head shop in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

In the past week, the Magic Bus head shop in Dundalk was petrol bombed.

Two explosive devices were discovered outside head shops in Athlone, and a head shop in Sligo was petrol-bombed.

Irish Independent

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