herald

Saturday 23 September 2017

Homeless man is quizzed over blaze in church

A homeless man remains in garda custody today where he is being questioned about an arson attack on a well known south city church.

The man, who is his aged in his early 50s, was arrested after the fire broke out in the back of the crib at St Catherine's Church in Meath Street at around 4.45pm yesterday.

The suspect was arrested close to the scene and is being quizzed at Kevin Street Garda Station.

The 19th century building -- in the historic Liberties area of the capital -- was extensively damaged in the blaze, which took several units of Dublin City Fire Brigade to bring under control.



DAMAGED

Meath Street was closed between Thomas Street and Dean Street while the scene was examined and firefighters fought to put out the blaze. Four water tenders and an aerial ladder were deployed by Dublin Fire Brigade to bring the blaze under control. A number of garda units also attended the scene.

Parish priest Fr Niall Coghlan said he hoped the church would be repairable.

"We haven't been able to get in to it because it is subject to a garda investigation, but we saw bits and pieces with a torch and it's quite badly damaged," he said.

"I'm not a builder and I'm not an electrician but I think it is repairable. I was just told the church was on fire.

"People on the street called the fire brigade and gardai. We won't know how bad it is until the gardai hand it over and the insurance assessors get in to it," Fr Coghlan added.

kfoy@herald.ie

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