herald

Monday 5 December 2016

​Man (39) charged in connection with devastating fire that destroyed six homes

The scene of devastation at the Millford Manor Estate in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, where six homes were burned to the ground
The scene of devastation at the Millford Manor Estate in Newbridge, Co. Kildare, where six homes were burned to the ground
The scene of the fire at The Millfield Manor Estate, Newbridge, Co. Kildare this morning. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the fire at The Millfield Manor Estate, Newbridge, Co. Kildare this morning. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the fire at The Millfield Manor Estate, Newbridge, Co. Kildare this morning. PIC COLIN CO'RIORDAN
The scene of the fire at The Millfield Manor Estate, Newbridge, Co. Kildare this morning. PIC COLIN O'RIORDAN
The scene of the fire

A man has been charged in connection with a fire that engulfed a row of houses in Co Kildare.

Daragh Ward (39) was remanded in custody when he appeared in Dublin District Court this morning charged with arson.

He is accused of damaging one house in a row six that were left gutted following a blaze on Tuesday.

His solicitor made no bail application on his behalf.

Judge Grainne O’Neill adjourned the case until April 8 and recommended medical and psychiatric treatment for the accused while he is in custody.

Mr Ward, with an address at Millfield Manor, Newbridge, Co Kildare is charged with one count of arson to a neighbouring house on March 31.

According to the charge, under Section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act, he is alleged to have damaged the house by fire.

He had presented himself to gardai at Celbridge Garda Station and was taken to Newbridge Garda Station where he was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act before he was brought before the court today.

Detective Garda Maeve Ward told the court she arrested the defendant at Newbridge station at 11.17pm yesterday and he made no reply after caution when the charge was put to him.

He was handed a copy of the charge sheet.

Det Gda Ward said she was applying for the accused to be remanded in custody until next Wednesday.

Defence Solicitor David Gibbons said he was not making an application for bail.

Judge O’Neill asked if any attention was required.

Mr Giibbons asked her to recommend appropriate medical and psychiatric treatment for the accused while he is in custody.

He added that he might be in a position to address the issue of bail at that stage. He said he would make an application for legal aid at a later stage.

Mr Gibbons said the accused had been working.

“It’s likely to be the case that he will be without income going forward because he has taken a certain amount of leave and I’m not quite sure when that is going to run out,” he explained. “It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to make (the application) just now.”

Mr Ward, wearing a black hooded top, navy blue tracksuit bottoms and grey and white runners did not address the court during the brief hearing.

According to gardai, six houses were gutted when fire engulfed the terrace at the Millfield Manor Estate at about 4pm on Tuesday.

The alarm was raised when neighbours spotted the fire and fled their homes.

Fire brigade units from Newbridge and Naas were at the scene within 10 minutes of the alarm being raised. They managed to stop the fire spreading to a neighbouring terrace but were unable to save the six homes, with only their burnt-out shells remaining afterwards.

There were no injuries to anyone and gardaí have carried out a technical examination at the scene.

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