Owners to decide on future of gym wrecked in 'Mr Big' arson attack
Published 03/08/2016 | 09:51
The future of the Coolock Flyefit gym badly damaged in a recent arson attack hangs in the balance as the owners decide whether or not to reopen it.
The facility, which forms part of a popular professional gym chain, had been open a few weeks when two men smashed a car into the entrance of it and set the car ablaze.
The fire caused massive damage to the entrance of the gym in the Coolock Retail Park in the early hours of Monday July 25.
There was smoke damage from the burning rubber and plastic of the car inside of the gym.
Gardai believe the ruthless ‘Mr Big’ drugs mob carried out the attack after deciding the gym was a threat to its own fitness centre.
They are investigating whether the attack was carried out because the gangsters were concerned that the Flyefit gym was
going to take business away from a northside gym that it controls. No arrests have been made.
“The gym that the gang control is used and controlled by the individual who is known as ‘Mr Big’. Intelligence has come in that he and his cronies did not want this other gym operational,” a source said.
“So they are suspected of carrying out the attack last Monday morning to make a clear point.
“Their message is ‘competition will not be tolerated, get off our turf’,” the souce added.
Drugs boss Mr Big, who cannot be named because he is facing serious charges before the courts, has been using his own gym for a number of crime summits.
A number of major mobsters have been spotted at this
gym, including the gang boss himself.
He is not the registered owner but is suspected of having a “controlling interest” in the gym.
A Flyefit spokeswoman said the company was still considering the future of the gym.
“We are assessing everything at the moment and will weigh things up,” she said.
No gym members were present at the time of the arson attack, and cleaning and security staff exited safely though an emergency door.
Two men were seen running from the scene at the Flyefit gym in the Coolock Retail Park on the Malahide Road after the attack at around 2.30am.
Members of the gym and the broader Coolock community have since communicated their concern and disgust at the attack across social media channels, and many are wondering if and when the gym may reopen.
“Although we have only been in Coolock a short time we have built up a very loyal membership base. We have been inundated with hundreds of messages wishing us well, which we really appreciate,” said the spokeswoman.
“Naturally, we are devastated – but we are thankful that no one was injured in this senseless act.
“We are offering our Coolock members a month’s free roaming – that is free use – for all of our other gyms.
“We have suspended all Coolock gym membership payments and there is also an option for a refund on any advance subscription for those that wish to avail of that option.”