Friday 16 November 2018

'This is absolutely shocking' - Garda probe after late night blaze at pharmacy

The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Image of the blaze taken by Tony Hanlon

Sean Nolan, Catherine Devine and Alan O'Keeffe

Local people expressed outrage today at the arson attack that destroyed Donabate Pharmacy on the Portrane Road in the town.

The fire broke out shortly after midnight and five units rushed to the scene where the pharmacy was engulfed in flames.

Dublin Fire Brigade crews from Kilbarrack, Swords and Finglas battled the blaze.

Gardaí at Swords are investigating the fire and said that two business premises on the Portrane Rd, Donabate Co Dublin were damaged.

The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Two garda vehicles remained at the scene of the blaze today. The fire is believed to have been started in wheelie bins located at the back of the premises. The flames spread from the wheelie bins into the roof of the one-storey building.

The flames took hold in the roof and soon the entire chemist's shop was ablaze.

The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Pharmacy at Donabate which was destroyed by fire last night Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Firemen used a con-saw to cut through steel shuttering to get better access to the blaze.

"It's diabolical. There is a bad element in Donabate and this looks like vandalism by youths," said angry local man Gerard Murray (58).

"I'm a customer and we are friends of the owner. Local people are devastated by what happened," he said.

"It was providing a valuable service to the community in meeting social needs. I volunteer with the St Vincent de Paul and something similar happened in Coolock when vandals set fire to bags outside the charity shop and it spread and destroyed the shop," he said.

"A few months ago, vandals throwing stones smashed the windows in the local church. Whoever did this should be punished. Their parents should be fined too.

"We need more regular garda patrols in the area," he said.

Local woman Margaret Fitzpatrick (54) said "This is absolutely shocking. It's really desperate."

"I just hope they find who did this," said the mother of three.

Last night, a Dublin firefighter also suffered an ear injury after a firework was thrown at him while he attended an emergency call.

Dublin Fire Brigade is appealing for a safe Halloween after the male firefighter suffered the injury.

He is part of Dublin Fire Brigade's Blanchardstown unit.

The Dublin Fire Brigade told Independent.ie that the firefighter was attending an illegal bonfire when the incident occured.

"It was a Halloween related bonfire. We want everyone to have a fun & safe Halloween including all the emergency services staff that are working in the run up to 31st Oct. We encourage people to attend safer organised events that are managed by the local authorities and to respect both council & 999 workers as they do their job on the day."

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