Man charged with arson attack ordered to remain indoors at night

May 12, 2020

A man charged with arson has been ordered to stay indoors between the hours of darkness after Gardai expressed fears he could light further fires.

Thomas Brennan appeared at Dungloe District Court in Co Donegal today charged with criminal damage.

It follows a major gorse fire which broke out in the Annagry area of West Donegal yesterday (Mon).

A large area of land, up to five acres close to homes and buildings, was burned and had to be extinguished by fire-fighters and up to 60 local people.

Brennan, aged 51 of Loughanoran, Annagry, was arrested by Gardai in Loughanure at 8pm yesterday afternoon and taken to Milford Garda station for questioning.

He was charged with criminal damage at 12.35am in the early hours of this morning.

He was officially charged with damaging by fire a large area of property, namely five acres of gorse which was in close proximity to a number of residential dwellings and agricultural and commerical properties.

Garda Francis Coyle of Bunbeg Garda station said that when charged Brennan replied “I’m saying nothing at all.”

The court was told that the Director of Public Prosecutions had read the report on the case and instructed that the case can be heard summarily.

Gardai said they had no objection to bail but they wanted to apply a number of conditions.

They requested a curfew be imposed on Brennan for him to remain indoors between the hours of 9pm and 9am.

Solicitor for the accused, Mr Frank Dorrian queried the curfew saying his client had no history of arson.

Garda Inspector Seamus McGonigle said “We have particular concerns about this man’s behaviour and we are fearful that there could be a repeat under the cover of darkness.”

Having heard the submissions, Judge Paul Kelly said he was imposing a curfew as well as other bail conditions.

He ordered Brennan to keep a curfew of between 10pm and 7am, to remain sober, to sign on once a week at Bunbeg Garda station, not to interfere with witnesses and not to light fires outside his home or elsewhere.

He adjourned the case until June 9th.


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