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Judge accepts arsonist acted 'out of loyalty to his mother'

A JUDGE has told a court that he accepts that a 21-year-old man – who torched property owned by a man harassing his mother – acted "out of loyalty and love to his mother".

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan made his comments in the case where Aaron Moylan of Abbey Court, Ennis, Co Clare, pleaded guilty to the arson of a garden shed owned by Willie Keane (39) of The Hawthorns, Ennis.

At the same court earlier this year, Mr Keane was convicted of the harassment of Mr Moylan's mother on dates between October 1, 2011 and September 1 2012.

Mr Keane was ordered to pay €500 to the court poor box after Insp Tom Kennedy said that the woman felt in fear as a result of the harassment.

The inspector accepted that the harassment was at the lower end of harassment offences.

In the arson case concerning Aaron Moylan, Judge Durcan said: "I accept Mr Moylan's motivation was out of loyalty and love to his mother and that there was a lot of provocation. Inspector Kennedy would agree with that."

He added: "I also agree totally with Inspector Kennedy that it was a very serious and dangerous offence to commit."

The judge said: "I am very taken that Mr Moylan has no previous convictions and that he seems to be a very decent, hard-working young man."

Judge Durcan said that it was "a very serious matter" and said that he would adjourn the matter to September to allow Mr Moylan address the issue of compensation.

The judge warned: "If the issue of compensation isn't addressed, I will convict. If I convict on what is essentially arson, the penalty will be appropriate on conviction."

Irish Independent