Saturday 1 October 2016

'We are lucky to be alive' - Family left homeless after home petrol bombed while they slept

Elaine Keogh

Published 17/01/2016 | 11:44

Vincent and Catherine Devine are pictured with their children Vincent junior (6) and Joyce (3) in their Ballsgrove home which was completely destroyed. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson.
Vincent and Catherine Devine are pictured with their children Vincent junior (6) and Joyce (3) in their Ballsgrove home which was completely destroyed. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson.
Vincent and Catherine Devine's Ballsgrove home which was completely destroyed when two devices were thrown through the window overnight. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson.

A mother has spoken of her terror that she and her husband and their two young children could have been killed after their home was petrol-bombed as they slept.

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Catherine Devine said the explosion of the two petrol bombs woke her and husband Vincent at half past twelve midnight yesterday.

She said she believes it was “an attempt to murder me and my family” because the petrol bombs were thrown through the only door and large window at the front of the terraced house.

“We used the children’s slide in the back garden to get over and into our neighbours.  We are lucky to be alive,” she said.

Catherine said the fire has destroyed their home in Drogheda, Co Louth and left her family homeless.

She said the blaze also destroyed all of the Santa presents for Joyce (3) and Vincent Jnr (6) as well as birthday presents for Joyce who was only 3 on the 9th January.

Catherine said that after they heard the bang and explosion she opened her bedroom door “and saw all the smoke, I didn’t know what the bang was. It was like the house lifted.  I ran and got the kids, me husband did as well, we wanted to get the kids out of the house.”

There were “big clouds of smoke and got half way down the stairs and I could see the sitting room was all in flames.

Vincent and Catherine Devine's Ballsgrove home which was completely destroyed when two devices were thrown through the window overnight. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson.
Vincent and Catherine Devine's Ballsgrove home which was completely destroyed when two devices were thrown through the window overnight. Picture: Ciara Wilkinson.

She said one petrol bomb had destroyed the sitting room and the other had been thrown in the kitchen window “so I couldn’t get out the front.”

She said they had to run out the back door and as they did that the sitting room window exploded.

“The kids were roaring and crying, they didn’t  know what was happening to them. They were happy in bed and then get a fright like that, was just unreal.  Disturbs them for life, they will never get over it.”

“All their little Santa stuff is gone, there is nothing left. Upstairs is that bad the kids don’t have a bed to sleep on. They left us homeless.”

She said their neighbours are “the best in the world,” and the family had escaped into a neighbours garden by using the children’s slide to get up and over into the neighbours.

“We are lucky to be alive, we are lucky we are not being dragged out in 4 bags to be buried.”

“My nerves are gone, I really thought I'd never make it out of that house. The explosion alone nearly got me a heart attack, I thought I'd never get the children down that stairs, I never thought I’d see today, that’s the truth.”

Gardai in Drogheda confirmed they are investigating the incident and appealed for any witnesses or anyone with information on what happened to contact them. 

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