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Young father had string of convictions and role in horror arson attack

ROBERT Sheehan is no stranger to controversy, the courts or major criminal investigations.

The 21-year-old father from Pineview Gardens, Moyross, on the northside of Limerick, came to national attention for his role in the horrific arson attack on Gavin (4) and Millie (6) Murray in his home estate on September 10, 2006.

Sheehan had just begun his junior certificate year in St Nessan's Community College and had just turned 16 when he acted as lookout for two co-accomplices who set about petrol bombing Sheila Murray's Toyota Corrolla.

Ms Murray refused to give the trio a lift to the city courthouse, where Robert's older brother, Kenneth, was appearing for assaulting a garda officer.

The three culprits never realised the young siblings were in the back of the car when petrol bombs were fired at it.

Sheehan helped to pull Gavin from the burning car.

In 2007, he was sentenced to two years' detention and bound to the peace for four years for his role in the arson attack.

Trouble

Nevertheless, he kept appearing before the city's courts and was constantly in trouble with gardai.

Despite his young age, Sheehan has more than 50 criminal convictions.

In October 2008, after a vicious fight with another man at Casey's Shop in Moyross, Sheehan armed himself with a large knife and chased the man he was fighting through the suburb.

Two months prior to that, while driving a car while disqualified, Sheehan took off at speed from a garda patrol car and narrowly missed several children before eventually crashing into the side wall of a home where other children were playing.

He was subsequently jailed for 14 months and banned from driving for 10 years.

Other convictions include obstructing gardai, public order offences and dangerous driving.

Irish Independent