Friday 20 September 2019

Second KBC Bank branch damaged in suspected arson attack

The KBC Bank branch in Swords after it was damaged last night
Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
The KBC Bank branch in Swords after it was damaged last night Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM
The KBC Bank branch in Swords after it was damaged Picture credit: Damien Eagers / INM

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Gardaí are investigating a potential arson attack at a second KBC Bank branch - as a group of protesters occupy the bank's headquarters this evening.

A front window was broken in the property on Main Street in Swords, Dublin in the early hours of this morning.

The area remains cordoned off this morning as the investigation took place.

A Garda spokeswoman told Independent.ie that nobody was injured in the incident but that significant damage was caused to the property.

“Gardaí in Swords are investigating a fire which occurred at a bank premises on Main Street at around 5.18am this morning,” she said.

“Gardaí and Fire Brigade personnel attended the scene. It appears from initial investigations that a front window of the premises was broken and a fire started. There is extensive damage caused to the inside of the building. No persons were injured.

“The scene is currently preserved for a technical examination. Investigations are continuing.”

A group of protesters occupied the headquarters of the bank on Sandwith Street which was the scene of a suspected arson attack earlier this week.

Photos on social media show a small group of protesters inside the lobby of the building.

Earlier this week, Dublin Fire Brigade were called to the scene on Sandwith Street to extinguish a blaze, thought to have been started with accelerant, which caused minor damage to the building’s lobby and windows.

Gardaí confirmed they are investigation an incident of criminal damage and appeal for information to Pearse Street Garda Station.

A KBC spokesman confirmed that they are increasing their security measure.

"We are aware of these incidents and we are taking additional measures to ensure the safety of our people and the Hubs that our local customers rely upon.

"As these incidents are the subject of a criminal investigation by An Garda Síochána we are not in a position to provide further comment at this time," he said.

Protests have been held at KBC Bank buildings in recent days following an eviction in Strokestown, Co Roscommon, on Tuesday of last week.

Farmer Anthony McGann and his two siblings were evicted by a security company following a repossession order of their Falsk home.

Two minor injuries were reported during this incident and are the subject of a Garda investigation,

The following Sunday, a group of between 20 and 30 men, some carrying baseball bats, stormed the property and attacked eight security workers guarding the land.

An investigation into the violence is ongoing which also involves national garda units.

Two men arrested in connection with the incident have been released without charge.

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