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Reveller set fire to church building

A DRUNKEN young man started several fires inside a parish hall across the road from his home because he had "negative associations" with the building, a court heard.

David Dunlea (20) then called gardai to the scene and seemed "excited" as he watched them extinguish the flames.

He later said setting fires was "highly addictive" and gave him a "thrill".

Dunlea, of Grosvenor Road, Rathmines, pleaded guilty at Dublin Criminal Court to burglary and arson at Grosvenor Road Parish Hall on September 28, 2008.

Judge Frank O'Donnell had adjourned the case for a month to allow unemployed Dunlea to come up with some contribution towards the €2,000 cost of repair to the building.

He imposed a four-year sentence, suspended for four years, on condition Dunlea undergoes 12 months' probation supervision.

Garda Derek Lawless told the court that on exiting the buildgrdai observed Dunlea standing across the road. He seemed "highly agitated" and "excited by the commotion". They detected a smell of smoke from him and arrested him.