Five arrested

Five men have been arrested in connection with a spate of arson attacks in the Buncrana area, the ‘Journal’ has learned.

On Wednesday evening three men were arrested with two more being picked up by gardai yesterday morning. All five men are from Buncrana.

The gardai operation was part of an ongoing investigation into 11 arson attacks in the peninsula since early July.

Buncrana Superintendent, Kevin English yesterday told the ‘Journal’ he was relieved there has been no further attacks, but insisted the arrests were part of an ongong investigation by the local Gardai.

“All five men, who range in ages from 17 to 24 years, are currently being detained in stations in Buncrana and Letterkenny.”

However it is believed the fifth male, a 17 year old, has now been released from custody.

The arrests come following a number of malicious fires in the last two weeks that have left residents living in fear.

The attacks have been random and some have occurred in isolated rural areas. Properties targeted included unoccupied buildings; farm sheds, vehicles and a health centre.

The last suspicious fire was in Buncrana on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when an attempt was made to set fire to three outbuildings near a house at Hilltown.

Inishowen TD, Padraig MacLochlainn has described the spate of arson attacks in the peninsula as ‘a very, very serious issue’.

Deputy MacLochlainn described the growing frequency of the attacks as ‘worrying’.

The petrol bomb attack on the 75-year-old Buncrana grandmother’s home in the early hours of Wednesday morning came just days after a similar attack destroyed the inside of Fahan health centre just seven miles away.

The attack at the health centre in the early hours of Saturday led to a large number of sick patients being forced to travel to Buncrana for medical attention.

It is believed the fire caused more than 20,000 euro worth of damage to the vital medical centre.

Anyone with information on the fires is asked to contact Buncrana Station on 074 9320540.