Friday 17 November 2017

Gardai arrest man over death of boy in suspected arson attack in Tallaght

Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

FRESH evidence has led to the arrest of a man over the death of a 12-year-old boy in a suspected arson attack.

Stephen Hughes Connors was camping out in a makeshift hut with a 14-year-old pal in Tallaght, Co Dublin, when they were engulfed by flames at around 5am on September 1 2001.

His friend tried in vain to rescue him but was forced to flee for his own life.

Gardai said an arrest was made earlier today as a result of the ongoing investigation carried out since the 10th anniversary of the tragic death.

The suspect was taken from Mountjoy Prison, where he is an inmate.

"New evidence came to light prompting this arrest of a 52-year-old man in the Dublin 7 area," said a spokesman.

"He is being detained at Tallaght Garda Station under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984."

Stephen's mother Liz Hughes last year marked the 10th anniversary with a heartfelt plea for fresh evidence.

CCTV footage from a nearby house showed a suspect walking towards the hut, made from pallets, doors and carpet, at Rossfield Avenue, Brookfield, before apparently setting it alight.

A suspect was arrested in 2006 by the Garda serious crime review team, who were reinvestigating the death, and a file was sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions, but there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him.

The case remained on the files of the Garda cold case unit, where detectives believe evidence from a witness could provide a crucial link between an identified chief suspect and the incident.

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