| 13.4°C Dublin

Coach and pal set skip ablaze with firework

A TRAINEE football coach and his friend set a council skip alight with a firework while they were returning from New Year's Eve celebrations.

Luigi Felloni (40) and Emmet McMahon (40) both admitted causing criminal damage to the bin in the blaze that they set off as they left a concert in the early hours of January 1.

The case against them was adjourned to a date in May at Dublin District Court for payment of compensation for the €320 worth of damage that was caused.

Felloni, of East Wall Road, and McMahon,of Manor Street, Stoneybatter, both pleaded guilty to setting the skip on fire at Castle Street, Dublin 2 on January 1 last.

Detective Garda Des Rogers told the court he was observing a group of people walking from the city centre before 4am. The accused set fire to the bin and Dublin Fire Brigade came to the scene to put out the fire.

Both defendants were co-operative with gardai after they were arrested. They contacted gardai the following night and apologised.

Asked by Judge James Faughnan if there was any cost to the fire brigade, Garda Rogers said they had been on standby because of the concert in the city centre. Both accused had been at the concert and had far too much alcohol consumed, their barrister Emmet Nolan said.

"They were in possession of a very small firework, they lit it and it went into the bin and caused it to ignite," he explained. "It was a very foolish act."


Felloni, a father of a three-month-old child was himself one of nine children, Mr Nolan said. Both Felloni's parents were still alive. He had had a "difficult upbringing", leaving school at 12 and developing a drug problem by age 14. Since the age of 35, he had put that behind him.

Felloni, who was unemployed, was working towards getting his final football coaching badge.

McMahon also had one child and had a drug problem in the past. He was now on disability allowance.

Felloni had 19 previous convictions, but the last was in 2004.

McMahon had 26 for offences including possession of drugs.