A YOUNG man set the home of his sister’s ex-boyfriend on fire following the couple’s break-up, a court has heard.
Paul Whelan, aged 21, of Daglaish Park, Moyross admitted causing more than €15,000 worth of damage by starting the fire in Ballynanty on August 5, last.
Limerick Court was told that a number of hours prior to the arson attack the defendant was involved in a “physical confrontation” in the Moyross area of the city with his sister’s ex-partner.
Sergeant Donal Cronin said he then travelled to the man’s home at Monabraher Road, Ballynanty where he smashed the rear-windows of the house at around 1.20am.
Mr Whelan returned to the house around an hour later at which point he set fire to a leather sofa in a downstairs sitting room.
Extensive fire and smoke damage were caused to the house and the cost of refurbishing the premises, the court heard, totalled €15,250.
Solicitor Julieanne Kiely said her client, who has no previous convictions, felt aggrieved at the breakdown of his sister’s relationship.
However, she said he acknowledges that his anger did not justify his actions and that he is “extremely sorry”.
The court heard the defendant knew the house was not occupied when he set the sofa on fire.
“It was a very foolish incident,” said Ms Kiely who added that her client has apologised to Limerick City Council and has offered to ‘work’ for the local authority as a means of compensation.
However, Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told Limerick City Council has not responded to his offer. N
oting this and noting that Mr Whelan comes from a good background, the judge indicated he would like to “hear the views” of Limerick City Council in relation to Mr Whelan’s offer. “Is there work he can do for them such as painting, repairs or remedial work?,” he asked.
The judge adjourned the case until May 1, next to facilitate the attendance of a representative of Limerick City Council in Court.