A THIRD Dublin head shop has been firebombed -- after a car containing drums of petrol was driven at the premises.
The attack took place at the Rasta Power head shop in Balbriggan, north Dublin, last Wednesday night, when a vehicle burst into flames outside the premises, damaging the exterior of the building.
Gardai have launched an investigation into the attack, which occurred when a man rammed a car containing three five-gallon drums of petrol at another vehicle, before setting it alight.
The incident followed a recent firebomb attack on the Happy Hippy head shop on North Frederick Street, and a third on the Nirvana head shop on Capel Street. In those attacks extensive damage was caused to the premises.
The shop front of Rasta Power, located on Railway Street, Balbriggan was completely scorched after the fire, and the windows of neighbouring shops were cracked due to the intense heat coming from the blaze.
Despite this, the shop has re-opened and is trading as normal.
A man in a grey hoody drove a 96 Nissan Primera, which contained three five-gallon drums of petrol, and rammed it into another parked car outside the shop at around 10.30pm.
And the minute the driver jumped out of the car, it burst into 20ft-high flames and he escaped by foot, according to locals.
Last Wednesday's fire follows a firebomb attack on the Happy Hippy head shop on February 16, when two gangland thugs detonated a petrol bomb almost killing a head shop worker, two innocent women and themselves.
Gerry Gaughan, the owner of G Taxis which is beside Rasta Power, told the Herald that business owners in the area fear their whole livelihoods will go up in flames.
"The windows [upstairs in the taxi company] cracked from the heat, so if it was another minute it would have gone up. The windows cracked even through the metal shutters on the shop beside the head shop."
Frightened locals heard a massive bang outside the shop, and in a matter of seconds the car was engulfed in flames, with only the footpath between the fire and the head shop.
The owner of Rasta Power refused to comment on the incident yesterday, and his business remains open since only superficial damage was done to the shop.
The shop was closed at the time, and no one was injured in the incident.
Gerry's son Kieran added: "I'd just pulled away from the taxi rank across from the railway station. And there was a car parked just outside the head shop which was in the way so he rammed into that.
"We're paranoid that someone's going to come down and burn us out. It's not just our livelihood, it's the 30 drivers that are with us as well. And our equipment is worth between €15,000 to €20,000."
Gardai at Balbriggan Garda Station are currently investigating the incident.
- Geraldine Gittens
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