Animal rights activists are today being blamed for an attack on a famous circus in south Dublin.
Eight vehicles were vandalised and attempts made to set one alight in an overnight attack on Duffy’s Circus.
The attack in Goatstown, south Dublin, saw green fluorescent paint sprayed over vehicles, including their windscreens, while acid was poured into another vehicles and an attempt made to set one on fire.
Ringmaster and managing director of the troupe David Duffy said he would be increasing security, but insisted the incident will not disrupt his family’s 200-year-old circus tradition.
"We have had protests and so on before, but recently these activities have been getting much worse," said Mr Duffy.
He said a demonstration of masked protesters targeted the circus at a separate venue last week. But he said the overnight attack was the worst yet and included Animal Liberation Front graffiti.
Mr Duffy said he accepted some people may oppose the use of animals in a circus, but he called for peaceful protests and asked for the violence to end.
He said there was still a public demand for circus acts that included animals and appealed for those responsible for targeting the circus to stop their activities, adding that further attacks could lead to a member of staff or one of the animals being injured.