Saturday 23 June 2018

'Our homes could be next' - Residents living in fear after 12 car burnings in 'space of weeks'

Locals terrified it is only a matter of time before 'someone gets hurt'

This car was burnt out in the area in July
This car was burnt out in the area in July
Melted number plate on the car beside the vehicle set on fire on Thursday
Burn marks on the road
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Residents in south Dublin are fearing for their safety after 12 cars in the area were burned out in a matter of weeks.

The most recent incident happened on Thursday in broad daylight on Arnott Street in the Portobello area.

Gardai were called to the scene at 12.50pm after a grey Honda Jazz was set alight.

The owner of the car had a number of personal belongings inside, including pictures of his family.

Melted number plate on the car beside the vehicle set on fire on Thursday
Melted number plate on the car beside the vehicle set on fire on Thursday

Investigations are ongoing but locals are terrified it is only a matter of time before "someone gets hurt".

A senior source said the burnings could be a ploy to try and distract from other illegal activities happening in the area.

Independent.ie spoke to one woman whose Peugeot 207 was set on fire in July.

She has since bought a new car but is parking it at her sister’s home in Inchicore after another vehicle was burned out on her street last Wednesday.

Burn marks on the road
Burn marks on the road

"I’ve lived here for most of my life and it’s a lovely neighbourhood, but now suddenly people are living in fear and worrying that their homes could be next," she said.

"I was meant to be going on holidays to Kerry the weekend it happened. I was in my house when I heard a loud thump and when I went outside, my car was up in flames.

"Everyone and their dogs knows who is doing it but people are afraid to speak out in case someone gets hurt."

Another woman had her Toyota Corolla "completely destroyed" back in June. She had only just moved into the area and has been unable to afford a new car.

"This is terror, it’s just a different type of terror," she said.

"There are a lot of trees around here and people are worried that their homes will catch fire. It's really scary to be living here while this is going on."

Gardai from Kevin Street were called to the Portobello area on Saturday afternoon after a couple of men were seen trying to open the boot of a car.

The incident happened in close to proximity to where all the other burnings occurred and the owners feared their vehicle was being targeted.

Residents have now started a petition requesting for extra patrolling to be carried out in the area while the investigations are ongoing.

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