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Stolen car rammed into shopfront and set alight in early morning Carlow town attack

A stolen car was deliberately set on fire after being reversed at speed into a town centre tanning shop causing an extensive fire to the premises and overhead apartments.

Fire Brigade units from Carlow town and nearby Bagenalstown fire station were called to the scene on Tullow Street shortly before 5am.

Emergency services managed to safely evacuate the overhead apartments and no-one was injured. There was no-one in the tanning shop at the time of the incident.

Tullow Street was closed for several hours as a result and a Garda technical examination team carried out a detailed analysis of the scene to gather evidence.

Garda Superintendent Aidan Brennan told local station KCLRFM: “Anybody who lights a fire in an occupied building is entirely reckless as to the safety of the occupants of that building.

“It’s a horrendous act. We are going to be intensifying our patrols here around the town in the coming days and weeks in order to prevent any further outbreaks of this nature.”

Gda Supt Brennan added that the garda investigation is centred on the motive for the attack.

”We had a very serious incident on Tullow Street. Our members responded very quickly and rapidly as did the fire services,” said Supt Brennan.

“There was extensive damage to the shop and the building in general. We alerted all of the residents and everyone was evacuated very quickly and the fire was brought under control by the fire services.

“Thankfully nobody was injured. We were able to alert all of the residents there that were occupied. We are making a particular appeal for witnesses (from around Highfield Estate) or Tullow Street at or around that time of the incident. We have teams out doing house-to-house inquiries and gathering CCTV footage.

“The Garda lines of inquiry involve a dark coloured Toyota Avenis with a registration number of 08G4473.”

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Gardaí are appealing to anyone with information or video footage of this incident to come forward. Gardaí can be contacted at Tullow Garda Station on 059 915 1222 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

In a statement, gardaí added: “No further information is available at this time. Enquiries are ongoing.”

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