Man held over church fire

A man is being questioned tonight over a blaze at a Dublin city centre church.

Firefighters tackled the fire at St Catherine’s Church in the Liberties area of Dublin for about two hours before it was brought under control.

It is not yet known how much damage was caused to the 19th century building on Meath Street.

A Garda spokeswoman said emergency services were called to the scene at about 4.45pm.

“One man in his 50s was arrested at the scene and taken to Kevin Street Garda Station for questioning under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act,” she said.

“Investigations are ongoing.”

Four water tenders and an aerial ladder were deployed from Dublin Fire Brigade, with a number of gardaí also at the scene.

Meath Street was closed to traffic in both directions to traffic from its junctions with Thomas Street and Dean Steet.

Parish priest, Fr Niall Coghlan, said he hoped the church would be repairable.

“We haven’t been able to get in to it because it is subject to a Garda investigation, but we saw bits and pieces with a torch and it’s quite badly damage,” he said.

“I’m not a builder and I’m not an electrician but I think its repairable. It’s not beyond repair but it will take a while.”

Fr Coghlan said he was not yet sure how the blaze broke out.

“I was just told the church was on fire,” he said.

“People on the street called the fire brigade and gardaí.

“We won’t know how bad it is until the gardaí hand it over and the insurance assessors get in to it.”

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