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Man accused of setting fire to three hay barns in 'moment of insanity'

In one case, €50,000 worth of damage was caused in the blaze and two bullocks were burnt to death.

Image: hay bale image via Shutterstock

A MAN WHO allegedly set fire to three hay barns causing €150,000 worth of damage has been remanded in continuing custody.

John Ryan, (23), of Carraig Beg, Doon, Co Limerick, appeared before Limerick District Court today, charged with three counts of arson, and one count of theft.

Ryan was arrested after the armed garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) were deployed to South East Limerick after a spate of arson attacks on farmers’ lands.

After his arrest, Ryan allegedly told gardaí: “I’m sorry, a moment of insanity.”

Bullocks burnt to death

He is charged with setting fire to a barn belonging to farmer and publican Pat Whelan, at Clonlusk, Doon, on a date between 27 and 28 of September last.

€50,000 worth of damage was caused in the blaze and two bullocks were burnt to death.

Ryan is also charged with stealing tools and farm equipment worth €1,000, the property of Liam Ryan, on January 1, 2015, at Dromalty, Cappamore.

He is further charged with arson on October 5, 2015, at a barn, the property of farmer John Hayes, at Toomaline, Doon.

The four column barn containing 150 bales of hay and straw, and 100 bales of silage, were destroyed in the blaze at a cost of €50,000.

In reply to this charge, Ryan alleged told gardaí: “I’m sorry”.

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Bales of hay

Ryan is also charged with arson on 6 October, 2015, at a hay barn, the property of farmer Sean Fitzgibbon, at Ballyvalode, Oola, Co Limerick.

One hundred and twenty bales of hay, and a car trailer, were destroyed in the fire, causing damage of €50,000.

Ryan has been granted free legal aid.

He was remanded in continuing custody to appear before Limerick District Court on 26 July next.

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David Raleigh

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