Teen caused €3.6m damage after lighting fire to keep warn

A teenager who set a fire in an apartment building to keep warm and left it smouldering ended up causing €3.6m in criminal damage.

Kenneth McInerney, aged 18, was only 15 at the time of the offence.

He was arraigned at Cork Circuit Criminal Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty. His trial opened in the morning. Shortly after lunch, he changed his plea to one of guilty to arson.

The charge stated that on Dec 29, 2010, at Atkins Hall, Lee Rd, Cork, he committed arson in that he did without lawful excuse damage by fire two apartment intending to damage the property or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged. Sentencing was adjourned until Nov 28.

Dermot Sheehan, prosecuting, told Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin and the jury at the opening of the trial it would be alleged McInerney was interviewed by gardaí and made certain admissions about starting a fire.

“During the course of interview, he admitted lighting the fire. He attempted to put out the fire. It was smouldering. He said it was a silly thing to leave it that way. He lit the fire to keep warm. He let it smouldering.

“He says it was a silly thing to do, the prosecution says it was a reckless thing to do. It is for you to decided if it was reckless or nor.”

During the brief evidence presented to the jury, it emerged McInerney went to Atkins Hall with another teenager. The jury was told the complex was part of the building jurors might have known better as the former St Anne’s hospital on Lee Rd.

The fire damage was caused to the second floor and extensive damage was caused to the roof.

Rory Kelly of Cork City fire brigade said it took 15 hours for several units of the brigade to bring the fire under control.

Tony O’Regan, quantity surveyor, said it was established that the damage amounted to €3.6m.


They’re the best air purifiers around so we should grow more houseplants all year round, says Peter Dowdall.Not just for December: The reason why she should grow more houseplants all year round

Let's face it — for the first few years of a child’s life you can dress them exactly how you want to.Alison Curtis: Clothes shopping with your young girl can be a tricky thing to do

Lizzo, Demi Lovato and Ashley Graham are among those prompting us to practise a little more self-love.5 times celebrities reminded us to be body positive in 2019

Wondering about wine for the big day? Leslie Williams has all the options, for every taste and budget.Something from the bar: The perfect drink selections this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner