A Kerry fireman has been convicted of criminal damage by arson after he set fire to gorse land.
36-year-old David Ahern of St James Gardens, Killorglin had denied committing arson at Cromane Upper, Killorglin, on April 13th 2020.
He also denied inducing the fire service department of Kerry County Council to pay him over €150 for attending the fire; this charge was dismissed.
The fire in question happened on gorseland owned by the State at Cromane Upper, Killorglin, on April 13th 2020, Easter Monday.
Dealing with the blaze cost the fire service department of Kerry County Council €1,500 in wages.
Stills from CCTV at a nearby house were shown in Cahersiveen District Court, and a recording of a 999 call was played; a man reported a person in a car setting a fire and the vehicle speeding off.
A woman in the house was able to call out the registration number as the car sped past their front wall; she saw the driver's face and he looked directly at her, then put his foot on the accelerator.
Shortly after the fire brigade arrived at the scene, including fireman David Ahern.
36-year-old Mr Ahern, of St James Gardens, Killorglin, said he'd been driving his partner's car, was on his way to Glenbeigh and realised he had no phone or cigarettes; he'd stopped by the side of the road to search for them.
He said he was returning to collect the items when his pager went off, so he went to the fire station.
Judge David Waters said despite lack of forensic evidence, there was ample evidence there was a case to answer, and convicted David Ahern of criminal damage by arson.
He adjourned sentencing until January 13th.