A ‘mindless act of vandalism’, involving the setting alight of an old car tyre, caused tens of thousands of euro worth of damage to a Moycullen bookshop and also caused distress to a family living in an overhead apartment.
Galway Gardai said that the act of vandalism could have had even more serious consequences if it had occurred at a quieter time of the night and had gone unnoticed.
The alarm was raised on New Year’s Day (January 1) shortly before 7pm when the emergency services were alerted – they discovered a burning tyre on a stairwell linking a carpark under the shopping complex and apartment on Main Street, Moycullen.
The large plume of black smoke from the tyre is understood to have entered the bookshop, its adjoining store-room and the apartment through vents.
“We are making a special appeal for anyone who has information in relation to this incident to make contact with us at Salthill Garda Station (091 514720).
“The consequences of this action actually could have been much worse, but even as it is, the family in the apartment were put in a very stressful situation while a lot of damage has been caused to the bookshop and storage area,” said a Garda spokesman.
The fire has led to the closure of the Moycullen Bookshop for the next few weeks. According to a Facebook post from the bookshop, the damage caused has been ‘worse than they feared’.
They have asked anyone with information in relation to the fire to get in touch with the Gardaí and they also thanked everyone for their support in the aftermath of what had happened.
The bookshop – under the proprietorship of Anne Quinn and her son Niall – has been in business in Moycullen for over a decade and has been hugely popular with local people and visitors.
As well as smoke damage to the shop and the store-room, a large amount of stock – including books, schoolbooks, school accessories and toys – was damaged in the fire.