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Arson probe Close pal of murdered gangster Robbie Lawlor arrested over petrol bomb attack

Gardai from Blackrock Station arrested three north Dublin men when they pulled over their car on the M50 near Knocklyon.


Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

Robbie Lawlor

A 31-year-old criminal who was a close associate of slain gangland serial killer Robbie Lawlor is one of three men in garda custody after two vehicles were badly damaged in a petrol bomb attack last night.

The target of the arson attack is a 36-year-old south Dublin car dealer who unwittingly found himself mixed up in a 2016 CAB investigation into Kinahan Cartel lieutenant Liam Byrne.

Gardai are attempting to establish a motive for the petrol bomb attack which happened shortly before 10pm last night at a property in Orby Park, Leopardstown.

An Audi Q5 and Volkswagen Golf were badly damaged in the incident in which one of the vehicles was completely destroyed.

Shortly after the petrol bomb was thrown at the vehicles, gardai from Blackrock Station arrested three north Dublin men when they pulled over their car on the M50 near Knocklyon.

They are all being currently held under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act at Dundrum Garda Station.

The 31-year-old is currently on bail in relation to a serious charge and he was a close pal of notorious criminal Robbie Lawlor who was shot dead in Belfast last April.


The murder scene of Robbie Lawlor in Ardoyne

The murder scene of Robbie Lawlor in Ardoyne

The murder scene of Robbie Lawlor in Ardoyne

The man was blamed for organising a gun attack on a group of young thugs who were feuding with murdered Lawlor the Darndale area of the city last summer.

Days after the attack, knife-wielding thugs chased Lawlor’s pal through the streets of Dublin city centre.

One man shouted at him: “Run will you. Run,y ou’re like Bob [Lawlor] you little f*****t” in an incident that was filmed and shared on social media.

Lawlor’s pal, who had young children with him at the time, later came back to the door of the pharmacy and said to the men: “Why don’t you do it now?” after they taunted him, asking him why he was hiding and if he was calling the gardai.

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Also arrested last night was a 41-year-old man from Coolock and a 23-year-old male from Santry.

The target of the petrol bomb attack was previously investigated because of an innocent link to major targets of the Criminal Assets Bureau.

It is understood that he was quizzed in 2016 over cars bought for senior cartel figures Liam Byrne and Liam Roe, but he insisted that he had no idea they were involved in crime.


Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne

Liam Byrne

Roe was stopped in a car registered to the south Dublin car dealer in 2016 and it was investigated if he had done deals with Byrne’s Active Car Sales.

It was raided in March, 2016, by officers investigating organised crime and the CAB and 29 motors were removed.

In 2018, the High Court ruled that Byrne was the leader of the Byrne Organised Crime Group (BOCG) which is involved, amongst other things, the importation and distribution of controlled drugs and firearms in Ireland and his close connection to the Kinahan Organised Crime Group.

Gardai have appealed for information in relation to last night’s incident.

“Gardaí have arrested three men following a suspected arson incident in the Leopardstown area of South Dublin on Monday 12th April, 2021,” a spokesman said in a statement.

“Shortly before 10pm Fire Services and Gardaí were alerted when a car was set alight in the driveway of a house at Orby Park, Leopardstown.

“A second car parked in the driveway was also damaged in the fire. None of the occupants of the house were injured.

“The fire was brought under control and by Fire Services personnel and the scene was preserved for forensic examination.

“In a follow up operation Gardaí on pro-active patrol intercepted a car on the M50 at Knocklyon a short time later.

“The occupants of the car, two men aged in their 30s and one in his 20s, were arrested in connection with the incident.

“All three are currently detained under Section 30 of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 at Dundrum Garda Station.

“Gardaí are appealing for witnesses to come forward. They are particularly appealing to anyone with camera footage from the Orby Park area at the time of the incident to make it available to them,” he added.

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