Four men have appeared in court in Roscommon charged with arson and assaulting four private security guards four days after an eviction in Strokestown in December last year.

David Lawlor, 40, with an address at Brookhaven Grove, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, and three other men are also charged with falsely imprisoning four security guards from Northern Ireland on 16 December at Falsk, Strokestown.

Mr Lawlor, who told the court he worked for his father's security company, is facing four charges of criminal damage, arson of four vehicles on the day of the alleged offences, false imprisonment and the possession of weapons, including an iron bar, knives, a baseball bat and a chain saw.

He is also charged under the Animal Health and Welfare Act with an offence leading to the suffering and death of a guard dog at the same house in Strokestown on 16 December.

Martin O'Toole, with an address at Stripe, Irishtown, Claremorris, Co Mayo, also appeared to face charges of arson, false imprisonment and criminal damage.

A third man, Paul Beirne, with an address at Croghan, Boyle, was charged with arson, false imprisonment and the possession of firearms without a certificate at his home in Croghan on 19 December.

The fourth man, PJ Sweeney from High Carn, Ramelton, Co Donegal, who was charged previously with violent disorder, was today charged with assault, criminal damage and false imprisonment.

The court was told the public order charge against him was withdrawn.

Judge Deirdre Gearty remanded all four on bail with strict conditions to appear again at a sitting of the district court in Castlerea on 20 December.