19 March 2021 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A 21-year-old man of no fixed abode entered a guilty plea at the Central Criminal Court last week to the manslaughter of a Carrickmacross man by setting fire to his house. 61-year-old Gerry Marron at St Macartan’s Villas, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan died in the incident on March 21, 2016. The accused, Aaron McDonagh, also pleaded guilty to committing arson without lawful excuse on the same date to a house at St Macartan’s Villas the property of Mr Marron, intending to damage such property or being reckless as to whether the property would be damaged and intending to endanger life or being reckless as to whether that life would be endangered.

Prosecution counsel Shane Costelloe SC said the plea was acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions on a full facts basis. Counsel for Mr McDonagh Michael Lynn SC said a psychiatric report had led to a recommendation that his client have an intermediary present when he was arraigned before the court. Mr Justice Michael White acceded to this request and Mr Mc- Donagh’s solicitor stood beside him in the dock for the purpose of his arraignment.

Mr Lynn said the accused was aged 16 at the time of the incident and asked the court to direct a probation service report, which included his family background. Mr Justice White directed the preparation of a probation report and also ordered a victim impact statement. He fixed the sentence hearing in the case for June 14 and remanded Mr McDonagh in custody until that date.

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