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Man charged with arson offence over Shipwright pub fire

A 49-year-old man has appeared before Dublin District Court charged in connection with an arson attack at a former pub in Dublin on New Year’s Eve last.

Steven McDonnell, a father of four from Cambridge Park in Ringsend, Dublin, was charged with arson under Section 2 of the Criminal Damage Act and with criminal damage by fire.

Detective Sergeant Jonathan Kelly gave evidence that he had been arrested at his home early this morning and later charged at Irishtown Garda Station.

He said the fire at the disused Shipwright pub and guesthouse on Thorncastle Street in Ringsend could have spread towards other buildings where people were residing, and he said he was objection to bail due to the seriousness of the charge.

Solicitor Tony Collier said his client had no previous convictions.

He had denied the offence and said he would be asserting his innocence. He said he was deeply rooted within his community.

Judge Fiona Brennan remanded Mr McDonnell in custody with consent to bail on condition that he sign on at his local garda station.

He must also agree not to loiter in the Thorncastle or Fitzwilliam Street area of Ringsend and have no contact whatsoever with the owner of the Shipwright pub.

His passport was surrendered, and he must also pay his own bond of €250 and lodge an independent surety or cash in the sum of €2,500.

Mr McDonnell is expected to begin bail on these conditions in the coming days and the case was listed again for 27 March when a book of evidence is expected to be served ahead of any future trial.w

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