Tuesday 12 December 2017

Face of young woman charged with arson after fire at disabled pensioner's home

By Elaine Keogh

THIS is the 26-year-old woman who has been remanded in custody after being charged with arson in relation to a house fire earlier this week.

Nicola Kavanagh with an address as Rathmullen Park, Drogheda in Louth is accused of arson damage at 94 Chord Road, Drogheda belonging to Oliver and Eva Berrill.

The scene of the House Fire in Drogheda
The scene of the House Fire in Drogheda

Ms Berrill (70) is disabled - and she was rescued from her burning home by a passer-by.

The offence is alleged to have occurred on the 16th August this year and is contrary to section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act 1991.

At the vacation sitting of Trim district court today, detective garda Brian Kearins gave evidence of arrest charge and caution.

He said he arrested her at 6.13pm yesterday at Drogheda garda station and charged her at 6.30pm.

Ollie and Eva Berrill
Ollie and Eva Berrill

She made no reply to the charge, he told the court.

Garda Superintendent Mary Gormley. Trim said the accused could be remanded in custody by consent.

The defence solicitor agreed and asked the court to direct the accused receive appropriate medical attention while in custody.

Legal aid was applied for and granted by Judge James Faughnan.

Kavanagh was remanded in custody to the vacation sitting of Dundalk district court this Thursday. 

The who rescued Ms Berrill has said he is more concerned about her recovery than his own painful injuries.

Colin Carter (34) has been hailed a hero by Drogheda's mayor and residents after running into the smoke-filled terrace house on Chord Road in the town to save the pensioner

Eva Berrill (70), who is confined to a wheelchair, was sleeping alone early on Saturday morning when the fire started.

Colin Carter
Colin Carter

Mr Carter was coming out of a pub across the road and risked his own life to enter the building, suffering serious burns to his neck and back in the process.

"I'm suffering. I'm in a lot of agony," he told the Irish Independent. Yet despite his own injuries, Mr Carter said his first thoughts are for Eva, whose husband Ollie has been keeping a vigil at her bedside in St James's Hospital.

"I appreciate that everyone is saying [I'm a hero], but at the end of the day I just hope the lady pulls through," Mr Carter said.

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