Resident caused more than €11k in damage at Cork hostel 

"We basically had to replace every piece of equipment." 
Resident caused more than €11k in damage at Cork hostel 

The judge convicted the man of causing criminal damage. File image. 

A resident at St Vincent’s hostel in Cork threw a microwave oven at a Perspex screen in the reception and then aimed a water-hose in the area causing over €11,000 damage to computer and other equipment.

The man who was resident at the hostel on Anglesea Terrace in Cork at the time of the midnight incident failed to show up in Cork District Court for the case against him. Judge Marian O’Leary convicted the accused man, Ronan Duane, in his absence and issued a warrant for his arrest to be brought to court for sentencing on the charge of causing criminal damage.

Manager of St Vincent’s hostel, Una Deasy, testified that extensive water damage was done by the firehose being directed into the main administrative area at the reception. In effect, all of the hostel’s computers, CCTV equipment and related equipment were extensively damaged.

“The amount of the damage was €11,242. We basically had to replace every piece of equipment. 

!We also had a risk that we could have had to evacuate the entire premises,” Ms Deasy said.

After hearing this — and other prosecution evidence — the judge convicted Ronan Duane of causing criminal damage. Inspector Pat Murphy called evidence from social worker, Laura Walsh, who was on duty in the hostel on the night with another colleagues.

Shortly before midnight they did a “house round” to check that everything was alright at the hostel. Ms Walsh’s first impression that Ronan Duane was acting out of character was that he passed some remark about her shoes. She said that ordinarily he would never have spoken the way that he did.

A short time later, she and her colleague noticed that the defendant had gone into the general residents’ room. Ms Walsh’s colleague went to the room and asked him to return to his own room.

“My colleague returned to the office. Ronan came down to the reception a few minutes later. He was quite irate with my colleague saying he did not like the way he was directed back to his room.

“We decided not to let him back into the hostel because of his heightened state. He refused and became more heightened.

“There happened to be a microwave in the reception area. He threw it against the plastic window of the reception. He turned on the firehose and aimed it into the reception hatch. He then proceeded to aim it at the foam ceiling tiles causing water to come into the hatch.

“My colleagues pressed the panic alarm to contact gardaí. 

"After a few minutes gardaí arrived. He still had the firehose in his hand,” Ms Walsh said.

Garda Sarah O’Sullivan said that Ronan Duane, 42, was living there at the time. He agreed to put down the hose and he co-operated with gardaí.

“He was very coherent. He said he was schizophrenic and not taking his medication at the time,” Garda O’Sullivan said.

Defence solicitor, Michael Quinlan, said the accused was now residing at Cork Simon Community.

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