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Nirvana owner's bizarre rant after blaze at store

IRELAND'S Headshop czar -- who almost lost €485,000 when one of his stores burned down -- has launched a foul-mouthed tirade against "the media".

Businessman Jim Bellamy lives in a €300,000 home in leafy Killiney, a far cry from the inner city areas where he runs his Headshop businesses.

When confronted by the Herald this week, Bellamy launched a foulmouthed tirade, blaming "the media" for his woes.

The owner of the Nirvana Headshop, destroyed in a suspected arson attack, launched a blistering assault on reports on his controversial businesses.

His shop on Capel Street, which sells legal highs, was gutted in a blaze over a month ago. Mr Bellamy runs two other Nirvana Headshops, one in South William Street in Dublin and one on Bray's Main Street.

When approached at his home in Killiney, the businessman declared he was preparing to sue a morning newspaper following the recent spate of publicity about his businesses and the suspected arson attack.

He loudly told a reporter: "I'll never speak to the media again. You b*****ds burned my business down!"

Mr Bellamy has said that he believed the fire at his premises was started maliciously as a result of recent publicity about the spread of Headshops, and possible health effects of items sold.

When firefighters arrived to fight the blaze in his Capel Street premises, it is believed Mr Bellamy informed them a large amount of cash was stored in a safe in the basement. A sum of €485,000 recovered from the safe was transferred to the gardai with the owner's consent for safe-keeping.

In a recent interview, Mr Bellamy was reported to have stated that his last VAT return, covering just two months of business, showed he paid €83,000 in value-added tax.

"My shops are generating big returns for the Exchequer," he said.

Detectives investigating another fire that damaged the Happy Hippy Headshop in North Frederick Street in Dublin have not ruled out a possible link with the Capel Street fire.