Man who set fire to county councillor’s office jailed by the circuit court

A man has been sentenced to three years in prison with one year suspended in relation to several charges of criminal damage including arson at the office of a Kerry county councillor. Tralee courthouse2 Mark Donnelly of Millbrook Village, Milltown pleaded guilty to eight charges which included theft, criminal damage and arson in Milltown on dates in 2013. Mr Donnelly’s defence counsel told Tralee Circuit Court that he was more a nuisance than a criminal. Two of the charges related to arson at the constituency office of Cllr Michael O’Shea on Old Chapel Lane, Milltown in September 2013 and the burning of a car parked outside. There was €10,000 worth of damage to the office while the car was damaged beyond repair. There were six other charges relating to theft and criminal damage to cars and properties at Ballyoughtra and Church Street, Milltown on dates in September 2013. Tralee Circuit Court heard that 43 year-old Mark Donnelly had made early admissions of guilt and had shown genuine remorse. Judge Tom O’Donnell said he had a serious drink problem and that the offences were committed after copious amounts of alcohol. But he said Mr Donnelly had previous convictions for possession of a weapon, burglary and drugs offences. The judge imposed a three year sentence with one year suspended for the arson offences and twelve month sentences for each of the other charges with those sentences to run concurrently.