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The Lifestyle Sports store targeted in the arson attacks.
psychiatric evaluation

Man charged over series of arson attacks on shops in Cork city centre last weekend

Judge Dorgan directed that the accused receive all appropriate medical assistance during his time in custody.

A JUDGE HAS directed that psychiatric help should be given in prison to a 23-year-old man who is charged in connection with arson attacks which took place at five stores in Cork city centre last Sunday evening.

Samuel Nunes Neto, of no fixed abode, appeared before Cork District Court where he was charged with five counts of causing criminal damage by fire on 25 February last in Cork city centre. No figures were given in relation to the cost of the damage caused in the incident. 

The impacted shops were in the Patrick Street, Half Moon Street, Opera Lane and Cornmarket Street area of Cork city and included outlets of TK Maxx, Superdry, Lifestyle Sports, Next and Boots. The damage on the charges related to clothing at Superdry, Next and TK Maxx, the building structure and clothing at Lifestyle Sports, and damage to shelving, perfumes, cosmetics and toiletries at Boots. 

There was no application for bail in the case. Sgt Gearoid Davis applied to have the accused remanded in custody until 6 March next. 

Defence solicitor Joe Cuddigan told Judge Mary Dorgan that his client had made full admissions while in custody at the Bridewell Garda Station in Cork city.

“Those admissions are corroborated by CCTV gardaí took from the various premises

“It is true to say that gardaí are not looking for any other person in connection with these incidents.”

Cuddigan asked that the judge make a recommendation that his client be the subject of a full psychiatric evaluation whilst in custody. He also requested that a preliminary psychiatric report be prepared on Nunes Neto in prison. Judge Dorgan agreed to his application that a report be prepared in prison. 

Cuddigan also said that his client had been accessing the services of the Simon Community. He indicated that certain matters had come to his attention about his client. 

“I have done a certain amount of research with his family as to the man’s mental health.”

Dt Sgt Colin Greenway was in attendance in the court for the hearing but he was not called upon to give prosecution evidence.

However, Cuddigan asked for Dt Sgt Greenway to be called to the stand to to address certain issues. He put it to him that his client had made ‘full admissions” while in custody and Dt Sgt Greenway agreed that that was the case. 

Nunes Neto was remanded in custody to appear before Cork District Court by video link on 6 March next. Judge Dorgan directed that the accused receive all appropriate medical assistance during his time in custody. She said that the prison psychiatrist in Cork was “very helpful.”

The man, who was wearing a black top and blue jeans, was not required to speak during the hearing. He will turn twenty four years old three days before his next court appearance. Free legal aid was granted in the case.

Olivia Kelleher