These four kittens were rescued from certain death last night after a gang of youths tried to set them on fire in a cardboard box in Ballymun.

  Quick thinking young witnesses rescued the frightened little brother and sisters when they spotted what was happening in the Coultry area and brought them to safety.

  Today the kittens are recovering from their ordeal in the Dogs Aid Animal sanctuary in Meakstown where it is hoped new homes can be found for them.

  The shocking incident was reported to gardai by local Sinn Féin Councillor Noeleen Reilly, who has called on all pet owners to keep their animals indoors this Halloween.

  “I am absolutely disgusted to hear reports that youths tried to set four kittens on fire last night in the area. This is an absolutely barbaric act and I strongly condemn anyone involved in these actions," she told

  "Residents in Ballymun are up in arms that anyone would try and do this to defenceless animals. Luckily the kittens were rescued in the nick of time and are now recuperating in Dogs Aid," she added.

  “Halloween can be a very testing time for our pets not only with fireworks distressing them but also there is a threat of attacks from some small minded individuals," Cllr Reilly explained.

  "There is no place in society for anyone involved in these acts," she added.

Sharon Walsh, a volunteer at the animal sanctuary, said the three females kittens and their brother are no more than nine or ten weeks old.

  "They are in good condition and weren't hungry, so they were obviously well looked after up until the point the gang their hands on them, and it was two other youths who saw what was happening that rescued them and brought them to the Reco youth centre in Ballymun," she added.

  "They are gorgeous little kittens and how anyone could think of harming them is hard to believe," she said.