Man accused of arson causing €200k of damage

A 47-year-old man from Passage West accused of arson causing €200,000 worth of damage to a building and making an insurance claim by deception denied both charges and went on trial by judge and jury yesterday.

David Healy of Tig na Mona, Rathankar, Passage West, Co Cork, is accused of arson at Munster Air Compressors, Kilbarry Cottages, Dublin Hill, Cork, on December 16 2014.

He is also accused of attempted deception by attempting to obtain a payment from FBD Insurance on January 8, 2015.

The accused denied both charges. He went on trial before Judge Gerard O’Brien and a jury of seven men and five women at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Prosecution barrister, Pearse Sreenan, reminded the jury of the warning given before they were empanelled that the case was expected to be long and was likely to go into next week.

Mr Sreenan outlined some matters as a guideline for the jury but told them this was not evidence.

“Mr Healy operates a business. He is director of a company, Munster Air Compressors, which is a tenant of the premises at Dublin Hill. The business was supplying and servicing machinery and plant and machinery for people and hired out the machinery to people,” Mr Sreenan said.

The prosecution barrister said there would be evidence on the defendant’s company taking up insurance with FBD in February 2013 with a valuation for contents set at €50,000. The insurance was amended in June 2014 to increase the valuation of the contents to €350,000.

“Fast forward to the night of the fire. Late in the evening – about 9pm on December 16, 2014 there was a call of a premises on fire,” Mr Sreenan BL said.

David Healy is represented by defence senior counsel Elizabeth O’Connell and the trial continues today.

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