Innocent worker left with burn injuries as digger attacked at site

The site on the corner of Cherry Orchard Avenue and Cherry Orchard Drive in Dublin

Ken Foy

An innocent worker was lucky not to suffer serious burn injuries during an incident at a Dublin site.

A thug threw a lit carton of petrol into a digger on the site at Orchard Lawns, Ballyfermot at 1.10pm yesterday.

The driver managed to escape from the vehicle and suffered minor injuries to his legs after his trousers caught fire.


Sources said the innocent Dubliner, aged in his 40s, was "very shaken" but not seriously hurt.

Ballyfermot gardai are investigating if the man was caught in the crossfire between two dangerous opposing mobs - one who is against the building of a 72-unit social housing site in the area and another mob allegedly involved in protecting it.

Yesterday's incident is just the latest in a string of anti-social behaviour and public order incidents that have happened at the site in recent weeks.

In September, the Herald revealed allegations that a notorious gang linked to crime figure Derek 'Dee Dee' O'Driscoll had been hired to protect the same council site.

A number of reports claimed that a gangster - who is a key associate of 'Dee Dee' - had been involved in intimidating residents protesting against the construction of modular homes in the area.

The matter was referred to gardai and was brought to the attention of the council's Chief Executive, Owen Keegan.

Sinn Fein Councillor Daithi Doolan has spoken out against yesterday's attack.


"The attack on workers on a Cherry Orchard building site is totally unacceptable. We are very lucky it was not fatal. A totally innocent man going about his work to provide social housing was brutally attacked," he said.

"It should be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Our thoughts are with the man and his family. We wish him a speedy recovery.

"The response from the community has been one of revulsion. I have been inundated with messages of support for the workers on the site. Local people will not be bullied.

"We need a full and adequate response from gardai. All the resources required must be made available to ensure site workers receive protection

"I have supported these houses from the start and I will continue to work with locals and builders to ensure this project is completed," he added.