Saturday 17 March 2018

Man charged over fire that killed girl 'deeply sorry', court told

John Lynch at Boyle District Court, Co
Roscommon, yesterday
John Lynch at Boyle District Court, Co Roscommon, yesterday
John Lynch
Mari Keane Connolly
Mari's mother Teresa Keane (second from right) at the court

Brian McDonald

A MAN charged with arson at a house where a five-year-old girl died has said he is "deeply sorry" and never intended to harm anyone.

John Lynch (33) appeared at Boyle District Court in Roscommon yesterday on the arson charge.

Dressed in a blue tracksuit top and jeans, he had earlier been ushered into the courthouse in advance of the hearing.

He is charged with committing arson at Termon Road, Boyle, on October 3 last.

The charge alleges that Mr Lynch used fire to damage the private dwelling, owned by another person, intended to damage the property or was reckless as to whether the property was damaged.

As Gda Paul Kenny took the stand to give evidence, Mr Lynch stood before the court with his right hand bandaged.

Gda Kenny said that after being charged and cautioned, Mr Lynch had replied: "I never intended for anyone to get hurt and I'm deeply sorry."

Teresa Keane, the mother of five-year-old Mari Keane Connolly who died in the fire, was present in the courtroom and sat motionless throughout the brief hearing.

Superintendent Tom Mullarkey applied to Judge Geoffrey Browne to have Mr Lynch remanded in custody to Harristown District Court in Castlerea.

Defence solicitor Ciara Macklin said there was no objection to the application. After Judge Browne made the remand order, most of those present in court filed out of the building.

Afterwards, Mr Lynch, of Church View, Boyle, Co Roscommon, was led from the courthouse to an unmarked garda car.

Irish Independent

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