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Sunday 21 January 2018

Man arrested in connection with Boyle fire remanded on assault charge

A MAN arrested in connection with a house blaze in which a five-year-old girl died has been remanded in custody on a charge of assault.

John Lynch, 33, of 39 Churchview, in Boyle, Co Roscommon, was brought before a hearing at Ballinasloe District Court.

He was charged with assaulting Anita O'Hara, causing her harm, contrary to section three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, at the same address in Boyle.

Garda Paul Kenny told the court the accused was charged at 6.55pm yesterday at Boyle Garda Station after being arrested at an address in Ballymote, Co Sligo.

There was a short delay in the hearing to appoint a solicitor for Lynch.

Judge Geoffrey Browne remanded the accused in custody to appear before Boyle District Court next Thursday, October 20.

Outside the courthouse, one man among a small gathering shouted "scum" as the accused, dressed in jeans, blue sports top, baseball cap and with his right hand bandaged, was driven away.

Five-year-old Mari Keane Connolly died in a house fire in the early hours of October 3 at Termon Road in Boyle.

Her father Richard and her two sisters, aged six and eight, managed to escape.

Lynch had initially been arrested on Tuesday as part of the wider Garda investigation into the suspected arson attack on the Connolly home in Boyle.

He had been detained and questioned under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act before being charged yesterday with the separate assault.

A woman in her 50s, also arrested for questioning in relation to the fire, remains in custody at Boyle Garda Station.

Mari was laid to rest on Tuesday just over a week after she died in the house fire.

Mr Connolly attended the funeral Mass at St Joseph's Church in Boyle in a wheelchair after suffering severe back injuries as he jumped from the burning building trying to save his children.

Press Association

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