Shocking video shows family home firebombed amid sinister Clare feud threats
Gardai confirmed to the Sunday World they are investigating the attack last Tuesday at 1am at Childers Road
A gang of thugs set fire to an innocent family home amid fears of escalating underworld violence in Co Clare.
The brazen attack caught on camera shows three men smash windows at the terraced house in Ennis, pour petrol through the door and ignite the entire front of the property.
One of the attackers is seen barely escaping the flashback as the fumes and fuel exploded.
Gardaí confirmed to the Sunday World they are investigating the attack last Tuesday at 1am at Childers Road.
Describing it as "a suspected criminal damage by fire incident" at the vacant Cloughleigh residence, there were no injuries reported and no arrests yet made.
In the sinister clip, three masked men walk up to the house under the cover of darkness and one begins battering in the front door using a sledgehammer.
Another then kicks in a loosened window pane and leans in for a couple of seconds while the third man lights an object which he then places in through the smashed door.
The fire immediately takes hold as the three men, who are being recorded by a fourth, retreat from the flames.
The video was later sent on to another person as part of an ongoing campaign of intimidation by criminal gangs, according to a Sunday World source.
The people living in the house have no involvement in crime.
The source said a similar incident happened in the town not far from Tuesday's attack in which another house was damaged by fire.
In a follow-up message purportedly from the gang who burned the house they threaten that two more houses will be targeted.
The message reads: "As well yer told now so it's on yer back (sic)."
"Time is precious."
The message says the other two houses weren't touched because there is a "special girl in there god bless."
A sinister message, complete with a flame emoji, ends: "But I promise when she's gone there [sic] gone."
In January this year the Sunday World revealed how dozens of audio and video messages were sent back and forth between different clashing groups in a series of separate feuds.
Reckless behaviour caught on video included cars and houses being smashed up and a high-speed car chase with one vehicle on the wrong side of the road.
Sources said at the time that innocent people connected to individuals in the various groups are living in fear they too could be targeted for attacks.
In January 2021, in yet another separate feud in the town, a clip of petrol bombs being thrown at a residential area was posted on social media.
In 2020 there were similar threats when rivals began sending threatening messages to each other and culminated in a man firing a sawn-off shotgun on camera.
Sources told the Sunday World said the feud began as a jealous rivalry over a woman before escalating into the gun threats.
Despite arrests by gardai the violent attacks have continued and raises questioned about whether gardai have enough resources in the region.
Cathal Crowe, TD for Clare and a member of the Joint Policing Committee in the county, said garda management are under pressure to "slim down the force and bring about efficiencies."
"We have Shannon airport in our back yard and a huge amount of resources are pulled from outlying villages and towns to ensure the airport is policed properly and correctly - the net result is that there are towns and villages in Co Clare that in my view are under-resourced from a policing point of view.
"Gangland activity in Dublin has seen a new policy of lots of new garda recruits being sent into Dublin... but there are counties particularly around the Munster area, due to garda management trying to bring about efficiencies, we've seen numbers pulled from rural areas."
He added that the issue of attacks on homes in the county, even if they are privately owned, affects the amount of people on the council's social housing waiting list.
"We have had issues in Clare where an inordinate amount is being spent on council owned properties that are being burned, vandalised and wrecked by feuding factions.
"That's in the realm of criminality, but the net loser is the family on the social housing list because it's eats hugely into the council budget.
Senator Timmy Dooley said such attacks involve "a small element in the town of Ennis that raises its head every now and then."
"While it is small and sporadic in nature it does have an effect on some in the areas affected."
"It is very frightening when these events take place. If you are a neighbour or on the street it is particularly shocking, but the rest of Ennis a lot of the time wouldn't be aware what's going on."
He urged people with information to pass it on to the gardaí.
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