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Mari tragedy: accused has bail refused

A MAN accused of starting a house fire in which a five-year-old girl died has been refused bail at the High Court.

John Lynch (33) is alleged to have started the house fire in Boyle, Co Roscommon in which Mari Keane Connolly died.

At the time, the five-year-old girl was staying in the house with her father, Richard Connolly, and her two sisters.


Her mother, Teresa Keane, was in Sligo General Hospital, having given birth to twins.

The defendant was refused bail by the High Court after a judge said he believed Lynch was a "big flight risk".

The defendant, of Church View in Boyle, is charged with committing arson at Termon Road in Boyle.

He is also accused of seriously assaulting his girlfriend, leaving her with a broken jaw, during a row at their home.

The incidents allegedly took place within half an hour of each other, between 2am and 2.30am, on October 3 last. Lynch brought a bail application before the High Court sitting at Cloverhill on Monday afternoon.

Detective Inspector Patrick Finlay, from Roscommon Garda Station, objected to bail, citing the seriousness of the charges and the strength of the evidence.


Lynch's defence team said the defendant would abide by any bail conditions, including a curfew and sign on conditions, and his father, who is now retired, was willing to post an independent surety of €10,000.

A judge at the High Court refused bail, saying there was a real fear of flight.

Lynch, dressed in jeans and a blue sports top, did not speak during the short bail hearing.