Two manslaughter charges for woman in fatal fire case

A woman has been charged with two counts of manslaughter, and one of arson, following a fire in which two men died, in the Cork town of Mallow.

Rachel Crawshaw, aged 28, appeared before Mallow District Court yesterday. Details of her arrest and caution were heard.

She faces a charge that between March 12 and 13, inclusive, in 2014, she unlawfully killed John Palmer at apartment 24, Granary Court, St Joseph’s Road, in Mallow. She faces another charge that, on the same dates and at the same location, she unlawfully killed another man, Greg Lonergan. The third charge is that she committed arson at the Granary Court apartment.

The court, sitting before Judge Brian Sheridan, heard how, when the charges were put to Ms Crawshaw, she made no reply. Arresting garda, Sgt Michael Corbett, told the court that he arrested Ms Crawshaw at 7.20pm on Monday at Cork Airport, on foot of an extradition warrant.

She was then brought to Mallow Garda Station and charged. Sgt Corbett said the defendant made no reply to the charges. The court also heard that Ms Crawshaw has no address and is of no fixed abode.

Ms Crawshaw had earlier entered the court with her head covered with a scarf.

Wearing blue leggings and a black top, she listened as the court was told there was no bail application, with the case to be mentioned again on March 1, in Mallow, when formal directions will be issued.

Ms Crawshaw’s solicitor, Emmet Boyle, said they consented to continuing remand.

Ms Crawshaw is being detained, in the interim, in prison in Limerick.

The fire claimed the lives of John Palmer, aged 37, who was originally from Tallaght, Co Dublin, and Greg Lonergan, aged 36, who had been living in Mallow for a number of years, but who was originally from another part of north Cork.

They died following the fire in the third-floor apartment, while gardaí saved the lives of two other people who were in the premises at the time.


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