A THIRTY-year-old man who is accused of starting a fire which destroyed an old section of a County Limerick hospital tried to quench the blaze with cans of alcohol, a court has heard.
Daniel Morrissey, of Church road, Croom has been charged with committing arson at the Mid Western Regional Orthopedic Hospital in Croom on January 10, 2012. He is accused of starting a fire in an abandoned building on the hospital grounds, which caused €15,000 worth of damage.
Speaking at Newcastle West Court last Friday Insp Dermot O’Connor alleged that Morrissey broke into the derelict old morgue via a rear window “and let in two friends”. The group “were on the premises to drink alcohol”, and that during this time Morrissey allegedly “lit a fire”.
Insp O’Connor claimed that as the flames began to get out of control, “attempts were made to extinguish the fire using cans of alcohol”. The building was gutted by the fire, causing €15,000 of damage. Insp O’Connor said that the damage “could have been a lot more had the building not been unoccupied”.
Based on the seriousness of the State’s allegations, Judge Mary Larkin refused jurisdiction in the case. Morrissey is now likely to face trial at Limerick Circuit Court. Arson, contrary to the Criminal Damage Act, carries a maximum penalty of life in prison on conviction at trial.
The case was adjourned until June 14 to allow for the preparation of a book of evidence.