Man goes on trial charged with killing boy who died in Tallaght hut fire

Tallaght garda station

A Dublin man has gone on trial accused of the manslaughter of 12-year-old Stephen Hayes who died when the hut he was sleeping in was allegedly set on fire.

Fifty-four-year-old Dermot Griffin denies killing the young boy at Rossfield Avenue, Tallaght in September, 2001.

Opening the case, prosecution counsel Mary Rose Gearty told the jury that in late August 2001 a group of kids in the Tallaght area began to build a makeshift den.

She said they put down a few pallets, used old doors, and put a roof on their hut which was between two buildings at Rossfield Avenue.

The jury heard that on August 31, two young boys - Stephen Hayes and Darren Hall - decided to stay the night in the hut, which went on fire at around 5am the following morning.

Darren Hall was able to break out through the back of the den and climb over a wall but Stephen Hayes died in the blaze.

Ms Gearty said the jury will see CCTV footage of an unidentifiable figure approaching the den seconds before the conflagration.

It is the prosecution's case that the fire was started by Dermot Griffin and that he killed the young boy as a result of that dangerous and criminal act.

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