Monday 20 August 2018

'Get out of Dublin 9' - Salon owner determined to keep new business open despite five attacks in three weeks

Vandals caught on CCTV attacking Camelia Nails and Co and (inset) the damage caused by one of the attacks
Vandals caught on CCTV attacking Camelia Nails and Co and (inset) the damage caused by one of the attacks
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

THE owner of a Dublin beauty parlour is determined to keep it open despite her business being attacked five times in its first three weeks.

Camellia Nails & Spa, on Botanic Road, Glasnevin, opened on May 21, but from its first day of operation, the proprietor has been the victim of a campaign of violence and intimidation to shut her down.

Our exclusive pictures show how the windows have been smashed by young thugs at night and paint has been thrown at the shop front.

In two shocking and brazen incidents on Tuesday and Thursday this week, gangs of men barged into the salon in broad daylight and trashed the interior in front of two staff members, as well as splattering paint across the walls and floor.

Damage caused by vandals inside the salon
Damage caused by vandals inside the salon

On Thursday, there were three customers in the shop when a gang burst in and smashed the sinks, foot spas, mirrors and monitors with hammers before fleeing.

Gardai are examining high-quality CCTV footage of three of the incidents.

In the exclusive CCTV footage obtained by the Herald, two youths can be seen arriving outside the salon on bicycles in the early hours of the morning.

One of them smashes the windows with a rock before they cycle away.

Footage from the incident on Tuesday shows three men arriving and checking who is in the salon before barging in.

They are seen leaving less than a minute later and running away.

However, while they were in the salon, they threw paint and scattered shop property, as well as overturning furniture and throwing a chair at the wall.

In the footage, their faces are clearly visible and identifiable as they arrive.

There is similar footage from the attack on Thursday, which gardai are investigating.

The owner of Camellia, who did not wish to be named, said the first signs she got that she was not wanted on the street was when she was sent a message via social media within hours of opening.

“It addressed me by name, and said, ‘Get out of Dublin 9’,” she told the Herald.

“They threw blue paint at the windows the same day. We installed cameras and replaced the windows afterwards.

“Early last Saturday morning, they broke the windows again. We had CCTV for that.

“Then on Tuesday, three men trashed the shop and broke some stuff and threw paint.

“And while gardai were investigating that incident, two men arrived on Thursday and totally smashed the salon up.”

The businesswoman added: “It is obviously an intimidation from someone who doesn’t want us to open the shop in the area.

“We reported it all to the gardai already.

“It is obviously an intimidation from someone who is not happy when we are running a good business. I hope the gardai will find out soon and we will be safe by then.”

The clean-up operation at the salon has continued this week, and plans were in place to replace the smashed equipment, smashed glass panes and remove the paint stains.

The owner of Camellia said she had no idea who is behind the campaign of intimidation against the shop but hopes to find out soon.

She added that despite the attacks, she is determined to stay in business.

Gardai have confirmed to the Herald that they are investigating all the incidents and that those investigations are ongoing.

They are examining CCTV footage from the shop, but footage from the surrounding area may also play a part in inquiries.

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