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safety fears Petrol bombs thrown at halting site in shocking arson attack

Dangerous row escalates as Molotov cocktails are thrown at mobile homes during arson attempt


Petrol bombs were thrown at a mobile home and burst into flames in a potentially lethal arson attack last week.

Shocking footage of the Molotov cocktails being flung from an embankment into the site below was posted on social media.

It is one of a series of threats and goading messages exchanged between a number of people in a bitter row over access to halting sites in the area.

One falls short of the trailer parked on the outskirts of Ennis, Co. Clare, and burst into flames on the ground.

The attacker then steps over a crash barrier to get into a better position before throwing a second fire bomb, part of which lands ablaze on the roof of the mobile home.

No-one is reported to have been injured in the petrol bomb attack and gardaí are actively investigating acts of intimidation in the area, according to sources.

Other clips and memes include attempts to vandalise vehicles and mobile homes as gardaí intervened while insults were exchanged between groups of people.

One claimed rivals were "belted out of it with rocks" and another meme mocked a man's death n the recent past.

Sources said that some of the tension between rivals is down to lack of places where extended families can live side-by-side and fears of being forced to an area where they are vulnerable to attack.

This week, Pavee Point's Martin Collins said Clare County Council's approach to Traveller accommodation has been "illogical."

He told Clare FM that the local authority as far back as the '80s had failed to take the concerns of the community on board and built halting sites that weren't wanted.

The Traveller rights campaigner had been asked onto the station to respond to a motion tabled this week at Clare County Council calling for the enforcement of the law against unauthorised encampments on public land.

He added that "huge expense" has gone on legal fees to get court orders to move Traveller families "from pillar to post".

Mr Collins said that any acts of intimidation or vandalism should be investigated and those found responsible brought before the courts and not used as an excuse to close Traveller accommodation.

"You wouldn't decommission a housing estate in Finglas or Moyross or anywhere else."

This weeks' attacks and social media campaigns are not the first such events seen in the town.

Last year, a video posted on social media showed a masked man firing a sawn-off shotgun in a sinister act of intimidation.

Gardaí in Co. Clare reacted immediately to the video with armed patrols carrying out checks of various relatives of those suspected to be involved, according to Sunday World sources a the time.

In one clip sent to rivals, a group of masked men accuse them of insulting people and threatened to kill a man and woman.

"We're going back to Ennis and the people you said put us out. We're going back to Ennis and you're dead," he shouted.

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