A 63-year-old gravedigger was arrested and charged with causing criminal damage to 16 graves at a cemetery in Ballincollig.
Garda Gary Brennan arrested Pat MacSweeney at his home at Marian Terrace, Douglas Road, Grange, Cork, at 7.40am today and brought him to Togher garda station.
After 2pm he was charged with 16 crimes. He was cautioned that he did not have to say anything but anything he might say would be taken down and could be given in evidence.
He replied, “I can’t argue with that.”
Judge Olann Kelleher asked if the defendant had said that to all of the charges and Garda Brennan said the defendant had done so.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said there was no objection to the accused being remanded on bail.
He said there were certain conditions to be attached to the bail. Defence solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said he was aware of the conditions and the defendant agreed to them.
Pat McSweeney is required to stay out of cemeteries in Cork city and county, except for the purpose of a family funeral should this arise.
Mr Buttimer said in respect of that condition there was a specific issue related to cemeteries in relation to the accused.
Other bail conditions require him to reside at his home address, notify gardaí of any change of address and sign on at Togher garda station on Mondays and Fridays.
The case was adjourned until May 18 to allow time for the preparation of a garda file and for directions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.
The 16 charges are contrary to the Criminal Damage Act and refer to alleged criminal damage caused to 16 different gravestones at St. Mary and St. John’s Church, Station Road, Ballincollig, County Cork, on Saturday, March 13.