Son tried to set mum on fire in row, court told

CLAIM: 'Dad had to wrestle him out of house'

Andrew Phelan

A DUBLIN man doused his mother and her home in white spirit and tried to light it before his father wrestled him out of the house, it has been alleged.

Cathal Adderley is accused of emptying most of a five litre can around the house and on his mother before reaching for what his parents believed was a cigarette lighter in his pocket.

The alleged episode happened at their Tallaght home after the defendant had had a row with his father.

Adderley is facing a Circuit Court trial after a judge decided the case against him was too serious to be dealt with at District Court level.


The accused, with an address at Millbank, Lower Lucan Road, Lucan, appeared in Tallaght District Court charged with two counts of assault and one of criminal damage following the alleged incident.

The offences are alleged to have happened at his parents' home in Tallaght on a date in July.

The prosecuting garda told the court that Adderley made no reply when the charges were put to him.

Judge James McDonnell asked to hear an outline of the allegations so he could consider whether to accept jurisdiction in the case.

A State solicitor said it would be alleged that at 4pm on the day in question, gardai met the defendant's parents, Monica and Charles Adderley, in a very distressed state.

They said their son had come to the house and had a short argument with his father.

He then poured four litres out of a five-litre can of white spirit around the house and also over his mother, it was alleged.

He attempted to get what they believed was a cigarette lighter from his pocket but his father struggled with him and managed to get him out of the house.

"It was some kind of attempt to ignite it but he was stopped in the process by his father," the State solicitor alleged.


"His parents are extremely supportive of their son notwithstanding the incident," Abberley's solicitor said.

The defendant was currently staying with his brother Tadhg, who was in court with him.

He was due to spend the next three weeks in hospital.

"I have difficulty in seeing how it can be seen as a minor offence," Judge McDonnell said, referring to the criminal damage charge.

He refused jurisdiction and adjourned the case to a date in November for the preparation of a book of evidence.

The judge also granted free legal aid and relaxed the defendant's bail conditions.

Adderley is now required to sign on weekly rather than daily at Tallaght Garda Station when he is not in hospital.