Man released as ‘threat’ charges dropped following arson on stables

January 7, 2019

A Derry man has been released from custody after charges against him, in connection with an arson at a stable yard in Inishowen, were dropped.

‘Several hundred thousand euro’ worth of damage was caused to Lenamore Stables in Muff on November 4 last following an arson attack on the property.

Two horses, a pedigree showjumping horse worth more than €100,000, were killed in the blaze as well as damage being caused to the stables and a horse transporter destroyed.

Gerard Given, of Circular Road in Derry, was charged with making threats to the owner of the stables, Ms Geraldine Graham on October 15th last that he would damage her property.

27-year-old Given was being held at Castlerea Prison, but the Director of Public Prosectution (DPP) has directed that all charges against him are to be withdrawn.

Given appeared at Letterkenny District Court via videolink for a brief hearing.

After hearing the verdict, Given said: “Thank you very much.”

As he rose from his seat, a jubilant ‘yes!’ was audible from Given.

A woman in her 20s, who works at the stables, was hurt and was treated for burns and smoke inhalation.

Those who arrived on the scene managed to save five other horses from the blaze.

A 31-year-old mother-of-three, Julie McCartney, of Ashmore House in Derry, is charged with theft, trespassing and arson at the stables.

McCartney, who appeared briefly via video link from Castlerea, will be before Buncrana District Court on January 10.