Teens bailed over Florence Court arson

Published Friday, 15 August 2014
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Four teenage boys have been bailed over an arson attack which destroyed a thatched garden house at the National Trust owned Florence Court estate in Enniskillen.

Teens bailed over Florence Court arson
The scene of the Summer House fire. (© National Trust)

The summer house, which was a wooden structure with a thatched roof, was set alight on the grounds of west Fermanagh estate on Thursday at about 8.30pm.

A 14-year-old boy and three 15-year-olds were detained. They were released on police bail on Friday pending further enquiries.

Florence Court, an 18th-century property, is the former home of the Earls of Enniskillen and is a popular tourist attraction in Co Fermanagh.

The summer house was built in 1993 and was a replica of an earlier 18th century building on the same site which had been removed during the 1930s.

Jim Chestnutt, the National Trust Manager at Florence Court, said the charity was confident that the building could be restored.

"Sadly last evening, our Summer House at Florence Court was totally destroyed by fire. Most importantly no-one was injured in the incident. The fire brigade and police attended the scene, and the cause is being investigated.

"This is a very sad event for National Trust staff and volunteers at the property, and for the thousands of visitors who visit Florence Court annually.

"The thatched building surrounded with its heather clad walls sat on a high area overlooking the Pleasure Gardens and was a favourite destination for the beautiful views across the gardens to Benaughlin and distant mountains," he added.

"This news is devastating for the staff and volunteers who love and care for Florence Court, one of our most beautiful places in Northern Ireland. However, as a conservation charity we are committed to looking after these special places forever and the team at Florence Court is confident that the Summer House can be fully restored.

"Florence Court remains open to the public this weekend, and our team will continue to provide a warm welcome to our visitors."

Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact them on the non-emergency number 101.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
JJ in Co Antrim wrote (162 days ago):
Agree the parents should be held accountable when their teenage children are out of control.
Belfast in Belfast wrote (163 days ago):
Sure stick the kids in jail give them 10 years. What a joke some of yous people are. How many of yous even have kids. Kids get of for 8-9 weeks they put up with you cant go here you cant go there. Bands marchs ( both sides ) peace lines, drugs and drug dealers. Kids get up to all sorts 8 weeks summer holiday is to long for all kids cut it to six weeks three weeks in july three weeks in aug and an extra two weeks over our bad winters would be better suited for all kids. Yous all have these kids hung out to dry with out thinking. How many of yous are up to no good at protests or feedom walks, bonfires and what ever else. Kids copy what they see at home and in the street. Yes the kids need to learn but here im sure the half of yous have done worse. Let the psni and the courts sort it out if there us a case to answer to. The rest of yas would be better watching your own kids cus you never know who or whats coming to your door next.
Paul Baxter in Dromore Co. Down wrote (164 days ago):
They can receive punishment its just the courts are not tough enough. Ive just read a guy convicted of disorderly behaviour only has to pay a fine if he gets caught again. Some punishment that is.
Big G in The East wrote (164 days ago):
Parents responsible but the problem is they probably care even less than their out of control children ,hitting them in the pocket mesns they will probably get a crisis loan from the good old dole office
Steven in Belfast wrote (164 days ago):
The kids burned a part of history so let them and there parents have tutorials in rebuilding it in there time and pay towards the cost
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