Teen quizzed about arson at school for children with autism

Gardaí have quizzed a juvenile suspect about an arson attack on a Cork school for children with autism.

The teenager was invited by gardaí to attend Mayfield Garda Station for an informal discussion about the incident at the Cara Junior School in Mayfield last month.

He attended in the company of his mother and was interviewed by detectives investigating the arson attack, which destroyed a toy storage shed.

Garda investigations are continuing and it is expected that a file will be prepared for the DPP in due course.

Two people were recorded by CCTV cameras scaling the school’s playground fence at 9.25pm on June 27. They were seen setting a fire inside the storage shed before climbing the fences again and making off across waste ground.

The shed was ablaze within minutes, destroying toys and specialist play equipment.

School principal Emir Duffy said the incident had a devastating and disruptive impact on their pupils who have a dual diagnosis of autism and intellectual disability, within the mild-to-moderate range, and who require structured play and routine to understand and interact with the world.

Meanwhile, Garda investigations into the malicious fire at the N-Steak Restaurant on Cork’s Camden Quay last month are also ongoing.

Up to 100 people living in apartments over the ground-floor restaurant were evacuated when a fire broke out in the building in the early hours of June 8.

Gardaí revealed almost two weeks later that they were satisfied the fire was started maliciously.

They appealed for people who took mobile-phone photos and video footage to contact them.

A Garda spokesman said an extensive trawl of CCTV footage from the area is ongoing.


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