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Man tried to use vodka bottle as 'home made bomb' while threatening to burn down hostel, court heard

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A MAN tried to set a bottle of vodka alight to use it as a home-made "bomb" while threatening to burn down a hostel full of people, it is alleged.

Seamus Donoghue (44) is accused of making threats while holding a bottle with paper stuffed in the top and repeatedly trying to ignite it with a lighter.

Judge Paula Murphy refused to grant him bail and remanded him in custody when he appeared in Dublin District Court.

Mr Donoghue is charged with threatening to cause criminal damage and possession of an implement with intent to cause damage.

The offences are alleged to have happened at the Salvation Army Hostel at York House, Longford Street Little in south Dublin city centre on May 9.

Mr Donoghue, who is homeless, had been a resident at the hostel.

Garda Jordan Kennedy told Judge Murphy when the accused was charged at Pearse Street Station, he replied to each charge after caution: “I understand that.”

Objecting to bail, he said it was alleged the accused went to the hostel at 1.25pm holding a bottle containing liquid and with paper stuffed in the top.

It was alleged he threatened to set it alight and burn down the building and there were staff there at the time.

The bottle was a clear glass vodka bottle and the accused held a lighter to the paper, making several attempts to set it alight before smashing it to the ground, Gda Kennedy said.

Staff had believed he would carry out the threat and could cause serious injury or death.

The court heard the accused made admissions to buying a bottle of vodka “for the purpose of making a home made petrol bomb.”

He admitted throwing it on the ground and it could have caused “catastrophic injuries” if it had been successful, Gda Kennedy said.

It was alleged the accused was caught “red-handed” outside the hostel attempting to ignite the paper in the bottle.

The court heard Mr Donoghue, who was on disability allowance and had an alcohol dependency, had been homeless for 20 years, had lived at the hostel for eight years and was no longer welcome at any Salvation Army hostel.

“He threatened multiple times to set a building full of people alight,” Gda Kennedy said, adding that he believed it was in the public interest for the accused to be refused bail.

Applying for bail, defence solicitor Brian Keenan said it would not have been possible for the accused to succeed in igniting the bottle because vodka was not an accelerant.

Gda Kennedy said the allegation was the accused was of the belief that it would ignite.

The court heard the accused was three-quarters deaf and had mobility issues.

The garda agreed with Mr Keenan that Mr Donoghue was co-operative in custody and “pleasant to deal with at all times.”

However, no bail conditions would satisfy him, he said.

Judge Murphy remanded the accused in custody, to appear in Cloverhill District Court on May 15.

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