Gardaí suspect fire in house due to arson

Sat, Dec 31, 2011, 00:00

GARDAÍ IN Cork yesterday began an investigation into a suspected arson attack on a house in the city where two men died earlier this week from suspected drug overdoses.

Gardaí believe that a window was smashed and a mattress deliberately set alight in a flat at the house at Rockgrove Terrace on the Lower Glanmire Road at about midnight on Thursday.

Firefighters had to evacuate about 15 people from the four-storey building, which is divided into several flats, as they sought to bring the fire under control.

Gardaí under Supt Tom Myers of Mayfield Garda station are investigating whether the attack is linked to the deaths of two men in the house on Christmas Day.

One man, John Foley (33), was found dead in his bed at his flat in the house at about 1pm on Christmas Day while a second man, John O’Donoghue (32), took ill in a flat in the house on Christmas night and died later in hospital.

Both men had been at a Christmas Eve party in flats in the house at which alcohol and drugs were consumed and gardaí believe both died from a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.

Officers are awaiting the results of toxicology tests conducted at postmortem by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster, which they expect will confirm the men died from ingesting a mix of drugs.

Gardaí have appealed for public assistance and asked that anyone who may have any information that could assist them in relation to the arson attack to contact Mayfield Garda station on 021-455 8510.