Young men may be attracted into the murky world of drug dealing because of "easy money" and "bling" but they all die young, a priest working in Finglas has warned.

Fr Seamus Ahearne said he has seen "too many murders" in the 25 years he has been a priest in the north Dublin suburb.

He has seen too many people die when they get caught up in drugs, and too many mothers lose their young sons in gang violence.

He spoke to RTÉ's Prime Time as a feud between rival drug dealing factions has escalated. There were three arson attacks in Finglas last weekend.

Fr Ahearne said: "They are attracted to the designer goods, and all of that and the bling, of course and it's easy money. Sometimes it’s not, because the end product is they all die young."

The recent escalation began when James Whelan was shot dead on 3 April. He was a key figure in one of the Finglas gangs who are feuding over control of the drugs trade.

The 29-year-old father-of-one had previously been close to, but fell out with, a major Finglas criminal.

Last Saturday, just before 2.30am, the home of Mr Whelan's mother was firebombed.

Fr Ahearne was the celebrant at Mr Whelan’s funeral in Rivermount Parish last month and said: "When I see the funeral of James Whelan, there's a very big casket, in gold colour, but to me it's a box and a dead child and a bereaved mother and a sister and a brother.

"So, all the bikes flying around, and all the champagne and the balloons flying, do nothing whatsoever for me and someone who's dead and gone.

"And then I see what happens the contagion then of revenge ... There is no glamour in shooting. There's no glamour in burning a house. There's no glamour in celebrating a funeral and destroying community and a family and a home. That's not glamorous, it's destructive."

Fr Ahearne said he feels "weary" that violence has returned to his community after a relatively quiet decade.

"What I see is a mother bereaved, a home destroyed, fear spreading like a disease, like a virus. And it hurts," he said.

He added: "I can't bear the good name of Finglas being damaged in any way" as it is a community of "goodness, humanity, humour and honesty."

The gangs involved in this feud have been taunting and threatening each other on social media as it escalates and catches innocent families in the crossfire.

Fr Ahearne is deeply critical of the "savagery" and "cowardice" of those involved. After 25 years in the area, he personally knows the families of many of those left bereaved by gangland violence.

He said: "One of the things that in a way that humbles me and moves me all the time is to have met so many mothers who have said in some ways, 'I'm glad he's dead, because I don't want what happened to him, and what he might do, to affect anyone else.' So they would feel as I do, that's some statement and I get that frequently."