A #LIMERICK farmer whose hay, trailer and barn were burnt down by four teenagers has won his case for damages after a judge said that the youngsters were deliberating engaged in riotous behaviour
Former Limerick hurler, Jimmy Carroll, told Limerick Circuit Civil court that four teenagers had been resettled in County Limerick from the city and, during the first half of 2013, they had been causing difficulties in the area.
This culminated in them starting a blaze on June 30, 2013 that caused thousands of euro in damage to Mr Carroll’s farm and property near the village of Hospital.
Judge James O’Donohue heard that a 13-year-old, who was one of the youngest members of the group, admitted starting the blaze to Mr Carroll when they met at the farm the following day.
Damages in the region of €23,000 was caused when hay stock, a barn and a trailer were destroyed and Mr Carroll subsequently initiated proceedings against Limerick City and County Council. He sought to recoup his losses under the provisions of the 1981 Malicious Injuries Act.
The court heard that the case was uncommon as Mr Carroll had to prove that those who caused the damage were engaged in riotous behaviour and assembly at the time.
Mr Carroll took measures to protect the property he had rented signage to warn off trespassers and these were torn down by the teenagers.
When he was alerted to the fire, he went to the property and saw the youngsters in an adjacent field having jumped over a ditch.
The next day when Mr Carroll was back at the property in Hospital, one of the teenagers confronted him in the farmyard. When he was subsequently arrested by Gardaí from Bruff, he admitted to the arson but claimed that the others encouraged him.
Derek Sheahan, BL for the local authority, said that while there was sympathy for Mr Carroll and his losses, the teenagers were engaged more in anti-social behaviour as opposed to riotous behaviour.
However, Judge O’Donohue said that they were not out to rob orchards as he found in favour of Mr Carroll and awarded him €23,506 in damages.