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

Burtonport man appears at Dungloe District Court

Court case

Gorse fires caused widespread damage in parts of Annagry last Easter

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.

71-year-old Anthony O’Donnell, Glen Lodge, Drumnacart Mountain, Burtonport  is charged with arson damaging by fire, property, to wit, the dwelling house of Ann Beggs, including the contents therein, and oil tank with a combined value of €220,000 belonging to another under Section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act on April 19 last year at Drumnacart, Annagry.

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

He is also 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 under the same Act at Rannyhaul, Kincasslagh.

The defendant is also charged with arson by damaging a shed belonging to Nancy McLaughlin containing two vintage tractors under the same Act and on the same date at Drumnacart, Annagary.

And he is also charged with arson by damaging by fire an oil tank belonging to Liam Cummins containing oil valued at €800 under the same Act and 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 morning.

The pensioner made no reply to the charges.

Garda Inspector 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 12 and the defendant was remanded on continuing bail until that date.

The defendant was represented by solicitor, Cormac Hartnett.

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