Ireland: Arson attack near Dublin linked to dispute between rival African gangs

Title image: Fire in Balbriggan (Dublin Fire Brigade/Twitter)

On Sunday, Dublin Fire Services were called to a fire caused by an apparent arson attack at a house linked to a dispute between rival African gangs operating in Ireland’s capital city.

The fire broke out in Chapel Grove, Balbriggan, in Fingal County. As media reported, the arson attack happened following a series of altercations between African youth groups.

Although authorities have yet to examine the cause of the blaze, according to residents, the fire was started by an incendiary device thrown into the garden shed, according to The Burkean.

Footage posted online also shows groups of dark-skinned individuals being chased by police.

From the outside, the house appeared to be gutted and the neighboring property suffered serious damage as well.

The parish has dealt with violence among mainly African gangs for a long period of time. The epicenter of the disputes is the Castlemill Shopping Centre, which is close to where the fire occurred.

Fianna Fáil TD Darragh O’Brien said that “gang violence” is overwhelming the area and that they are participating in “stabbings and arson attacks” and that “a shopping centre was effectively taken over at the weekend”. On the Adrian Kennedy Show, he said that locals had had enough and that the levels of violence are concerning. 

Local Gardaí, the Irish police service, have been unsuccessful in dealing with the African gangs, which regularly engage in street brawls.

Just a day before the fire, Gardaí received a call about fights outside Castlemill Shopping center involving about 30 youths of mainly African origin. Police had to even deploy its helicopter to help officers on the ground.

Many residents have also been exposed to harassment by the gangs while shopping at local stores.

Furthermore, according to locals, narcotic crimes related to the African gangs has been on the rise in the area.

Even though the mainstream media has tried to portray Balbriggan as the model for multicultural Ireland, the town had recorded rising crime.  In December 2017, locals protested against the out of control crime.

According to data from 2016, 11 percent of the town is of African origin, most of them being under the age of 25.

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