Manslaughter plea not accepted in Cork death

A 27-year-old man yesterday admitted the manslaughter of a 22-year-old mother-of-one but denied murdering her.

The stance being taken by Adam O’Keeffe became apparent at his arraignment at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

The single count on which Mr O’Keeffe was arraigned stated that he “on April 29, 2017, or April 30, 2017, at 36 Sheares Street, Cork City, did murder one Amy McCarthy, contrary to Common Law”.

O’Keeffe, wearing navy pants and a pale check shirt, replied: “Not guilty to murder, guilty to manslaughter”. 

He is represented by Brendan Grehan.

Prosecution senior counsel Seán Gillane said: “That plea is not acceptable to the Director [of Public Prosecutions] and a jury is required.

Before swearing the jurors, Mr Gillane, senior counsel, said he would outline some details so that those on the jury panel could ask to be exempted if they knew any of the parties.

He said the incident at the centre of the case took place in April 2017 at a location on Sheares Street which is near Washington Street in Cork and the accused man, Mr O’Keeffe, was residing at St Vincent’s hostel, Anglesea Terrace, at the time.

Regarding the deceased, Mr Gillane solely stated the late Ms McCarthy was from the Greenmount area of Cork.

The senior counsel also referred to a connection that Cork Penny Dinners might have to the case, warning prospective jurors: “Anyone who has a connection with the Penny Dinners service might have a difficulty in serving on the jury.”

A jury of six women and six men was sworn in before Mr Justice David Barniville.

The judge for the trial which will start today will be Ms Justice Eileen Creedon.

Mr Justice Bariville told the jury yesterday they would need to be available for two to three weeks.

Lawyers in the case indicated the case would start this week and continue next week with a slight risk of the case going into a third week.

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