We don’t feel safe’ – Dublin shop staff live in fear as gang of teens terrorise them daily
31st March 2021
A shop owner in Dublin said his staff are living in fear as gangs of teenagers have been terrorising them on a daily basis.
CCTV footage captured a shocking incident at Gala store in Willowpark, Finglas last Thursday when dozens of youths entered the shop, took a number of items and then threw objects at the staff. The majority of them weren’t wearing facemasks.
The shop workers raced to pull down the shutters at the front of the store and one received minor injuries during the incident after he was struck on the hand.
At around 6.20pm, a group of teens can be seen coming into the shop with their hoods up. They begin to take ice-creams, jellies and chocolates.
Some of them were recording the incident on their mobile phones.
Store owner Soji Mathew said he moved to Ireland to try to make a better life for his family but said it is incredibly stressful trying to run a business in this environment.
“I have to have two or three staff working in the shop at all times because they are afraid to work on their own,” Mr Mathew told Independent.ie.
“This happens all the time but it was never this bad before. We reopened on Friday and there were up to 100 people gathered in the local park and we rang gardai to come. They quickly dispersed then.”
Mr Mathew has been running the store for two years and sadly this wasn’t the first major incident.
In 2019 there was an armed robbery and a large sum of cash was taken from the till.
“We have a lot of nice customers but there are regulars who come in and take stuff,” he said.
“We don’t feel safe in our own shop.”
A garda spokesperson said investigations are ongoing.
“Gardaí attended the scene of a public order incident which occurred at a retail premises in Willowpark, Dublin on the 25th March 2021 at approximately 6:30pm.
“One person received minor injuries during the course of the incident. No arrests have been made. Investigations ongoing.”