Man charged with causing over €300,000 damage in connection with gorse fire

Pensioner charged with arson and damage of houses and oil tanks

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

 

A pensioner has appeared at Dungloe District Court, charged with causing over €300,000 in criminal damage, in connection with one of two gorse fires that raged through parts of the north west of Donegal at Easter last year.

Anthony O’Donnell (71), of Glen Lodge, Drumnacart Mountain, Burtonport, Co Donegal is charged with arson, damaging the dwelling house of Ann Beggs, including its contents and an oil tank, with a combined value of €220,000, on April 19th last year at Drumnacart, Annagary.

The defendant is also charged with arson and causing extensive damage to the value of €21,500 to the rear dwelling house of Eugene Morgan and oil tank on the same date at Drumnacart, Annagary.

He is further charged with arson with extensive damage to the rear of the dwelling house and garage of Stef Bullon, to a combined value of €70,000, at Rannyhaul, Kincasslagh.

In addition, the defendant is charged with arson by damaging a shed, belonging to Nancy McLaughlin, containing two vintage tractors, on April 19th at Drumnacart, Annagary.

He is also charged with arson in relation to an oil tank belonging to Liam Cummins, containing oil valued at €800, on the same date at Drumnacart, Annagary.

Garda Siobhan Campbell told the court she arrested the defendant at his home at 10.20am on Tuesday.

The pensioner made no reply to the charges.

Insp Seamus McGonigle said the DPP had elected for trial on indictment in the circuit court and asked the court for the case to be adjourned for two months for preparation of a Book of Evidence.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until May 12th and the defendant was remanded on continuing bail until then.

The defendant was represented by solicitor, Cormac Hartnett.