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Man charged with arson over blaze at 19th century church

A 48-YEAR-OLD man with a "severe psychiatric issue" was remanded in custody yesterday after he was charged with arson in connection with a fire at a historical church.

Smoke and water damage were caused to the 19th century St Catherine's Church in Dublin, after a fire broke out on Monday evening.

Fire-fighters took two hours to bring the blaze under control at Meath Street in the Liberties.

A man was arrested at Meath Street at about 4.45pm on Monday and he was then held at Kevin Street garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

Patrick Currie was brought to appear at Dublin District Court yesterday morning charged with arson under the Criminal Damage Act.

Dressed in a grey sweater, tracksuit bottoms and wearing white medical shoe-covers, the defendant, who is of no fixed abode, remained silent during the brief proceedings.

Garda Brian Hawkins told Judge Timothy Lucey that Mr Currie "made no reply to the charge".

He said a file is currently being prepared to the send to the DPP.

Gda Hawkins also told the court that he was objecting to bail.

Defence solicitor Michael O'Connor told the judge "there is no application for bail at this stage" adding that "there is a serious psychiatric issue here".

Mr O'Connor also said that a psychiatric assessment of his client was "urgently required" and asked the judge to make that part of his order.

The judge agreed to the request and remanded Mr Currie in custody to appear again at Cloverhill District Court on January 10.

Legal aid was granted.

Irish Independent