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Man charged with Newbridge arson attacked named after court appearance

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
Gutted: The row of houses in the Kildare estate were fully or partially destroyed
Gutted: The row of houses in the Kildare estate were fully or partially destroyed

A 39-YEAR-OLD man has been charged with arson in connection with a blaze which went out of control and gutted six terraced houses in Co. Kildare.

Daragh Ward with an address at Millfield Manor, Newbridge, Co. Kildare, was remanded in custody by Judge Grainne O'Neill who recommended that he should get psychiatric treatment.

Gardai and fire-fighters attended the scene on Tuesday when houses at Millfield Manor had to be evacuated at about 4pm.

Six houses, including Mr Ward's own home, were extensively damaged, personal belongings were destroyed but no injuries have been reported and the scene was preserved for a technical examination.

Mr Ward was arrested after he presented himself at Cellbridge Garda station on Tuesday.

He was transferred to Newbridge Garda Station where he was held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 and subsequently charged with causing criminal damage by fire to a neighbouring house, number 65 Millfield Manor.

The 39-year-old was brought before Judge O'Neill at Dublin District Court today. 

Read: Shocking images of damage caused by Kildare fire.

Det Garda Maeve Ward of Newbridge station told Judge O'Neill that he was charged on Wednesday night at 11.17 and was cautioned that anything he would say would be taken down and used in evidence.

“I gave him a true copy of the charge and he made no reply,” said Det Gda Gibbons, adding that she was asking the court to remand him in custody.

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

Mr Ward, dressed in black hooded top, navy tracksuit bottoms and runners, sat silently throughout the brief hearing. 

Judge O'Neill remanded him in custody to appear at Cloverhill District Court on April 8 next. Mr Gibbons said he might be in a position to address the issue of bail at that stage. 

She asked if Mr Ward required any attention and the defence lawyer asked that his client would get “appropriate psychiatric and medical treatment while in custody”; the judge agreed to make that recommendation and she also asked if an application for free legal aid was being made. 

Mr Gibbons said his client has been working but “it is likely to be the case that he will be without an income going forward. He has taken a certain amount of leave, I am not quite sure when that is going to run out.”

The issue of whether legal aid will be granted was deferred.

Read: A bank account has been set up for the victims of the Newbridge fire.