Arsonist targeting local pubs

Simon Brouder

Gardaí are seeking a serial arsonist who has attacked three pubs in the Tralee area in recent months.

All three incidents - two in the town centre and one in the greater Tralee area - have involved the arsonist setting fire to toilet roll dispensers in the bars' toilets.

By stuffing toilet roll back up into the dispensers and then lighting it the arsonist was able to cause large fires that completely melt the plastic dispensers and filled parts of the pubs with noxious fumes.

The latest incident occurred on Friday November 8 when the arsonist lit a fire in the toilets of a pub in the town centre.

While alarms alerted staff and patrons - and the fire was quickly brought under control - the blaze caused considerable damage to the men's toilets in the busy bar.

The culprit was quickly identified using CCTV footage from the pub which shows his face clearly inside the bar before the fire had been noticed and outside the premises as he fled the scene.

Based on the footage the same individual has been linked to two very similar arson attacks on local pubs in the past six months.

Details of the most recent incident have been reported to gardaí who have taken statements on the matter and are investigating.

While the most recent fire caused significant damage there was no risk to customers safety and the situation was dealt with quickly.

A previous incident during the summer had the potential to be far more serious as the toilet roll dispenser set alight on that occasion was on a wall dividing the toilets and a store room containing several gas containers.

Again in that incident no one was hurt and the fire was quickly extinguished before it could spread outside the toilet cubicle.