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Investigation launched into second head-shop blaze

By akack2, Feb 17, 2010 | | |
  1. akack2


  1. chillinwill
    Second 'head shop' hit by fire

    A second so-called "head shop" has been damaged in a fire, police have said.
    The blaze started in the Happy Hippy store in Dublin's north inner city at about 9.30pm on Tuesday night.

    It was quickly brought under control and caused only minor damage to the front of the shop.

    The Fire Brigade said a forensic examination would be carried out to establish the cause of the blaze at the building in North Frederick Street.

    The fire comes less than a week after a suspected arson attack on another head shop in the city centre forced authorities to order the demolition of the building for safety reasons.

    The exact cause of the fire at the Nirvana store in Capel Street may never be known.

    Local residents reported hearing a loud bang coming from the shop at 6am last Friday before the blaze engulfed the building.

    There has been ongoing controversy over the number of head shops which have opened up in the last year offering legal highs.

    It has been claimed that the Capel Street store was targeted as a result of a widespread campaign to ban the businesses.

    Nirvana is the biggest head shop chain in the country with six stores.

    February 17, 2010
    Belfast Telegraph
  2. chillinwill
    Fire-bombs Blamed for Latest Head Shop Fire

    The head-shop damaged by fire last night appears to have been petrol-bombed by two masked men.

    The ‘Happy Hippy’ on North Frederick Street is the second city ‘head shop’ to be damaged by fire in less than a week.

    A local security guard told 98’s Crime Correspondent Louise Byrne that his colleague on the night-shift tried to extinguish the flames shortly after the fire started.

    A staff member working in the shop at the time has been treated for shock, and the fire-scorched premises today remains sealed off, while gardai carry out a battery of forensic tests.

    The shop has been badly damaged, although not as severly as in the blaze on Capel Street last Friday, which gutted the Nirvana Headshop, and closed Capel street to traffic for several days.

    It’s raised deep concerns coming just days after the Nirvana fire. Gardai are now investigating arson as the possible cause for both fires, but refuse to be drawn on any possible links.

    February 17, 2010
    Dublin's 98

    The video can be found at Fire-bombs Blamed for Latest Head Shop Fire
  3. chillinwill
    Fire damages Dublin 'head shop'

    The Labour Party has called for the fast-tracking of legislation to outlaw so-called legal highs as an investigation into fires at two Dublin "head shops" continue.

    Speaking today, Joe Costello, Labour TD for Dublin South Central and a member of the Inner City Drugs Task Force, said there was anger among local people about products sold in head shops in the capital. He also voiced concern about the possibility of someone being seriously injured in a head shop fire.
    A forensic examination is to be carried out later today to determine what caused a fire which broke out at the Happy Hippy head shop on North Frederick Street last night.

    No one was injured in the fire, which broke out shortly before 9.30pm, but there was some minor damage to the front of the building.

    On Friday, the Nirvana head shop and a number of neighbouring outlets on Capel Street were destroyed in a fire which began around the same time local residents reported hearing a loud bang coming from the outlet at 6am on Friday.

    The blaze quickly engulfed the shop and two adjacent retail units. Five units of the Dublin Fire Brigade, including units from Tara Street, Phibsborough and North Strand stations, brought the blaze under control at 11am, although the fire was not fully extinguished until about 5pm.

    Gardaí are treating the Capel Street fire as arson although the exact cause of the blaze may never be known because most of the building has had to be demolished for safety reasons.

    Although a link between the two fires has not yet been established there has been speculation that the incidents are related to a widespread campaign to outlaw such outlets.

    There have also been suggestions the fires may be linked to action undertaken by inner city drug dealers upset over the amount of money being made from legal highs.

    The owner of the Nirvana outlet, Jim Bellamy said last week he believed his shop had been targeted because of a “disgusting” media campaign conducted against outlets such as his in recent months.

    Almost €500,000 in cash was found under the floorboards of the Nirvana head shop following the fire, which is believed to have been the proceeds of Mr Bellamy’s retail business, which includes head shops and adult stores.

    Regulations which will outlaw a range of products sold as legal highs in head shops across the State are expected to be introduced later this year.

    However, Mr Costello today called for legislation to be brought forward to outlaw such products within weeks.

    "There has been real anger in the local community over the failure of the authorities to act in relation to head shops because a lot of young people around the area are customers buying products from them which mimic illegal drugs.

    "It certainly seems too much of a coincidence that there has been two such fires within days, and there is a real concern that these shops are being targeted, and there is a worry that not enough action is being taken either to stop the selling of these products or to protect people living near head shops who could be hurt in a fire,” he added.

    The Labour Party has put forward legislation aimed at ensuring that head shops must obtain separate planning applications for change of use of retail outlets to allow local communities to raise objections to them.

    It also called on the Government to follow Britain in including legal highs in the Misuse of Drugs Act and banning them.

    “I’d like to see us do this by a statutory Instrument in three weeks and think that this in itself would curtail a lot of the activities of premises of this nature and thereby address the concerns of the local community,” said Mr Costello.

    Earlier today, Fine Gael's health spokesman Dr James Reilly called for an amendment to the Finance Bill, currently going through the Dáil, to require head shops to have an operating licence.

    Speaking in the Dáil, Dr Reilly said there is sufficient evidence of the health threat posed by the products on sale in such shops which should see them subject to licensing.

    “The sale of alcohol is subject to licensing laws and opening hours regulation but head shops can operate on a 24-hour basis regardless of the substances they are selling," he said.

    “Must we wait until some one dies after taking a substance on sale in a head shop? Or is it the Government’s strategy to hope that they burn down one by one? This has been going on long enough, and it is well past time that we use the mechanisms at our disposal to protect our young people from this serious health threat," Dr Reilly added.

    February 17, 2010
    Irish Times
  4. Abrad
    Yes, it's clearly the Headshops fault they caught fire. Fucking inflammable drugs...
  5. Alfa
    The papers read like its understandable that head shops get the anger of citizens on them, and almost ignore the fact that its terrorist fire-bomb attacks that are taking place here. That's pretty weird post 9-11
  6. Coconut
    I believe it depends entirely on how the media chooses to twist the story. In this case, the enemy is drugs. Under other circumstances, it could easily be blamed on "Islamists" or other such waffle, and people would still lap it up with equal fervour.
  7. Synchronium
    Imagine the fury that would ensue if muslims firebombed a pub in England. To be honest, that's more understandable since they don't just dislike alcohol, but their religion forbids it.

    The headlines would read "TERRORISM" and the media would be packed full of English public banging on about these terrorists removing our rights to drink.

    These people are no better than that US christian who shot an abortionist.
  8. missparkles
    That's possibly as close as it gets, as the people who actually started this fire (supposedly) would be quite happy about abortionists being shot, too.

    Personally, from the people who post here with awful after effects from some legal highs I'd say it does need some regulation. However, if the owners of these shops did that themselves, it would be a bloody good start. Even supermarkets ask for proof of age now when people who look under a specific age (25 in Asda) ask to purchase cigarettes or alcohol. Pubs it's 18 and they do ask to see ID now.

  9. Abrad
  10. missparkles
    Everyone knows exactly what will happen if you drink too much, but few people are made aware of the effects of over use of some legal highs, hell, even DF posters are still in the dark concerning some of them.

    So some kinda regulation has to be applied to protect young people, under 18 for example, from getting hold of them. If the owners actually began to behave responsibly, as was stated in the article, then that would show that drug use can be done responsibly. But it seems like these owners don't give a fuck about anyone once they have the money in the bank...or in their private safe...safe. This just gives the media a field day, cos they see vendors as dealers. With no conscience.

    They could actually do a load more for the drug using community by taking the initiative, after all, they say they're just selling what people want, that they believe people should have the right to ingest what they want. That it's about freedom of choice. They come across as advocates of legal drug use. They say all the right things, but talking the talk isn't enough. It's about time some responsibility went along with the huge amounts of money they're making. Don't you think?

  11. Abrad
    There are shops who don't give a fuck, sell to kids, open 'til 4am and make a general nuisance of themselves but on the other hand there are responsible headshops. Why should they be punished for the sins of others. I really like Luke Flanagan's idea, which I linked to of self regulation. If the government sees the shops governing themselves effectively they might let things be. The tax money the government must be making is considerable (500 grand in the safe of the burnt down shop on Caple St), and during a recession when the country is almost bankrupt...
  12. WhiteFox
    So.. two headshops get burned down through arson, and they use this as a message to outlaw legal highs? What. The. Fuck. The authorities basically stated that they hope they all burn down.. who knows, maybe they started the fires themselves just to get the publicity to fast-track their legislation. Wouldn't surprise me.
  13. Finn Mac Cool
    Two members of one of these dissident gangs (alphabet IRA) has recently been in the news, after police discovered a 'grow house' in Donegal. Turns out they rented the house to a drug gang and claimed they didn't know grass was being grew in it, LOL. So I think this has more to do with people loosing money due to legal highs, than murderers worried about the public's health.
  14. Alfa
    Please find a reference for that. I think is very important news that seems to confirm what was already suspected.
    Are there more references that show a connections between IRA / REAL-IRA / RAAD or other such militant groups and drug sales or production?
  15. akack2
    I think people here dont know enough about the different groups to make many claims about them.

    I also think people should be careful here with what they say.

    I think we can agree that Republican paramillitaries in the past have been known to collect 'taxes' or extort money from drug dealers,they rarely handle drugs themselves.
    I think we can agree that still goes on to this day,I would not encourage naming people on here.

    Please also refrain from calling groups the IRA.The IRA is very different from the RIRA,CIRA/Continuity Army Council,OIRA,INLA,DAAD,RAAD,DDAAD,Na Fianna Éireann,Na Claoimhte Solais and other Republican manifestations such as the IPLO,the PLA,Saor Éire,Saor Uladh etc etc.

    For example the RIRA is split in two with both factions differing hugely from each other in both goals and behaviour and only one of these groups is represented by the 32CSM which has been threatening drug dealers and claiming the assassinations of drug dealers.The other faction has no interest in such actions.

    I just hope people who engage in discussions here know what they are talking about because I suspect they wont.
  16. Alfa
    That's why I want references and collection of information. Not unfounded claims or wild accusations.

    Its completely unclear to me which organisations there are, how they are linked and which organisations are active against headshops or drug dealers and which organisations are or are not active in drug related activity.
    I did see news articles about RAAD and REAL IRA in relation to the headshop shooting in Derry/Londonderry.
  17. Abrad
    It's very unlikely that you will find that kind of information Alfa.
  18. akack2
    I gave to say dito to what Abrad says Alfa,very unlikely.
  19. Burgersoft777
    I worry about younger swiys being sold some of the products on offer, and was caught out myself by some BZP type pills that were way to strong.
    Swim researches products before trying them, but with many of these products its nearly impossible to find out what you are getting. At the least we could do with a full list of ingredients, but when things are being sold as
    "not for human consumption" in the first place it is going to be very difficult to impose honesty on this trade. In Ireland I suppose it is possible that it is fundamentalist types that are starting these fires, but I would also think that many dealers in illicit drugs must see these shops as a problem best gotten rid of. In every respect this is another price society pays for prohibition, we have a trade that is based on exploiting loop holes.
  20. Synchronium
    Perhaps a few Irish people could club together and write a post detailing who all of these people are? A few sentences with an appropriate reference (IE quoting the shooting article that mentions RAAD) would be enough to help clear up some of the confusion.

    It confuses the shit out of me!
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