Murder accused on arson charge

Picture: Cork Courts

A 36-year-old man charged with the murder of a mother of three in Passage West last February was formally arrested and charged with a new count of arson yesterday.

Darren Murphy, of Dan Desmond Villas, Passage West, Co Cork, appeared at Cork District Court in person having appeared a number of times since February by video link from prison.

Garda Seán Minihan said he arrested Murphy at Cork District Court yesterday morning and charged him with arson, a charge to which Murphy made no reply after caution.

The first charge faced by Murphy is for the murder of Olivia Dunlea O’Brien, aged 36, at Pembroke Crescent, Passage West, on Feb 17. Her body was found in an upstairs bedroom of her semi-detached house at around 6am on that date by firefighters. after they spent several hours bringing a fire there under control.

The charge brought him yesterday was that he did commit arson at 26 Pembroke Crescent, Passage West, a residential house belonging to another with the intention of damaging such property, or being reckless as to whether such property would be damaged.

Insp Michael McGuire applied to have the case put back for service of a book of evidence.

Defence solicitor Emmet Boyle said there was no objection to the case being adjourned for that purpose.

Judge Leo Malone remanded the accused in custody to appear again on Aug 21.

That appearance will be by video link from prison to Cork District Court.


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