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Criminals target family in petrol bomb attack

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Emma Brophy (20) with her daughter Donna-Marie (2). 12 week old son Alex is in the cot.

Emma Brophy (20) with her daughter Donna-Marie (2). 12 week old son Alex is in the cot.

Emma Brophy (20) with her daughter Donna-Marie (2). 12 week old son Alex is in the cot.

A family, including a 12-week-old baby, were lucky to escape unharmed after thugs threw a petrol bomb at their home in what is the latest in a series of violent attacks.

The Brophy family were in the kitchen of their Waterford home when two bricks were thrown through their living room window in the Birchwood estate at around 7.30pm on New Year's Eve.

The gang then attempted to throw a petrol bomb through the broken window, but luckily only managed to hit and damage the front door.

Emma Brophy (20) described how her family were enjoying the New Year's celebration along with her 12-week-old baby Alex and daughter Donna-Marie (2) when they heard a loud smash in the front room.

Crash

"We were sitting down in the kitchen having pizza, when all off a sudden we heard a loud crash," she told the Herald.

"We ran out to see what it was, when we heard another smash and smoke started coming from the front garden.

"They hit the door with the petrol bomb but they were trying to get it into the front window," she added.

Also in the house at the time were Ms Brophy's three sisters - one of whom is only 11 - and her teenage brother.

The front window of the home is now boarded up and a smell of petrol still lingers from the callous New Year's Eve attack.

Incredibly, some members of the gang returned to the scene of the incident at 4.30 the following morning in a clear act of intimidation.

A garda forensic team was at the scene collecting evidence yesterday morning, and a van has been patrolling the area.

No arrests have yet been made in relation to the incident and gardai are appealing for anyone with information about the attack to come forward.

The attack is believed to be the work of a notorious criminal gang in the city who have been prone to acts of violence in the past.

"They've intimidated young mothers, preyed on the vulnerable. They've burnt people out of their homes, assaulted people with hammers, they're running amok," a source explained.

In one incident, a mother was burnt out of her home after her eight-year-old son "exchanged words with the gang," according to the source.

"We haven't slept properly since, we're taking turns keeping watch. We're terrified that they will come back," Emma said.

"My brother was in the front room when the first brick came through the window. We're terrified of what's going to happen next.

"We're lucky to have come out of it unharmed, I don't know how but thank God we did," Emma added.

Ms Brophy's sister Jennifer said: "If we had somewhere else to go we'd be out of here in a heartbeat, but we don't so we're stuck here."

The attack on the innocent family is believed to be the result of a feud between the gang and another local male.

Local councillor John Hearne voiced his concern about the increasing violence in the city, and how innocent people are suffering as a result.

"It's an absolute disgrace what is happening.

"Only a few months back we had a petrol bomb attack in which a young girl was severely injured," Cllr Hearne said.

thugs

"Innocent people are suffering as a consequence of these thugs."

Cllr Hearne visited the family at 5am after the incident to offer his support.

"They're a lovely peaceful family who don't deserve any of this.

"All they were doing was enjoying their New Year's Eve together, when all of a sudden a gang try to petrol bomb their house," the Sinn Fein councillor told the Herald.

"How someone could do that, with a 12-week-old baby in the house as well, it's just beyond me."

hnews@herald.ie


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