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Moira man admits arson attack at GAA club in Lurgan

The arson attack on St Peter's GAA grounds in Lurgan, and Conor Mallon at court.
Brendan Hughes

A MAN was convicted on Thursday of an arson attack at a GAA club in Co Armagh.

Conor Mallon (22), of Laganview Terrace, Moira, admitted attempted criminal damage and arson at St Peter's GAA Club in Lurgan earlier this year.

Appearing at court in Craigavon, he was given a 60-hour community service order and a probation order for three years.

The roof, wall and an outside shelter of a boxing club in the grounds of the GAA facility were badly damaged in the blaze in February.

Mallon admitted attempting to damage the door of a portable building and setting fire to a bag of logs belonging to St Peter's GAA club.

Having considered a pre-sentence report, the court said that a combination order should be made in the interests of securing the rehabilitation of the defendant.

Phoenix Boxing Club had operated from a pre-fabricated hut for more than four years, with exercise classes held there four times a week.

Coach Martin Toland at the time described the damage as a "health hazard" and said equipment including headgear and a full-size boxing ring had been ruined.

Connor Mallon coming out of Craigavon crown court yesterday picture Bill Smyth story.

Damage caused by an arson attack on a boxing club in the grounds of St Peters GAA grounds Picture Mal McCann.

Following the arson Martin Lavery, chairman of St Peter's, said the GAA and boxing clubs were "deeply disappointed that anyone would attack the premises".

But he said he took comfort in the support the club had received from the local community.

Boxing coach Maurice Haughian, who has used St Peter's as the base for Phoenix for years, at the time branded those who started the fire "mindless idiots".

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