Damage estimated at €81,000 was caused to four bank apartments in Ballinrobe after a 15-year-old youth set one of them alight.
The young male, who cannot be named because of his age, appeared before Westport Children’s Court on Thursday last.
Detective Garda Donal Raftery told Judge Mary Devins that loss adjustors estimated that the apartment where the fire began suffered €60,000 worth of damage. He said the roof structure in this apartment had collapsed and damage was estimated at €1,200 per square metre in the apartment.
He said that three adjoining apartments also suffered fire and smoke damage of €7,000 each.
Defending solicitor Cathy McDarby argued that the apartments were not occupied at the time and have never been occupied since they were built. This was, she said, because they are subject to a demolition order from Mayo County Council for planning breaches.
The court heard that the apartments are in the hands of Ulster Bank, Danske Bank (formerly National Irish Bank) and the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (formerly Anglo Irish Bank).
“You couldn’t give these apartments away at Christmas, they are worth zero,” said Ms McDarby.
The court also heard the 15-year-old was charged with theft of a car.
Judge Mary Devins accepted jurisdiction and adjourned the matter for hearing on February 14. Cathy McDarby told the court a guilty plea will be entered. The 15-year-old youth was released on bail.