Partner charged over death of woman

Renars Veigulis: Charged with murdering Rita Apine.

The partner of a mother, aged 29, who was fatally injured last Sunday at her home, has been remanded in custody after being charged with her murder.

Renars Veigulis, aged 31, originally from Latvia but living at 2 Bridge St, Freshford, Co Kilkenny, is charged with murdering Rita Apine at Bridge St in Freshford on May 14.

He was initially arrested on the afternoon of Ms Apine’s death but released without charge last Monday night.

He was re-arrested on Friday and questioned at Kilkenny Garda Station throughout Friday evening and Saturday, before being charged on Saturday night.

He was brought by unmarked garda car to the courthouse in Kilkenny City at 10.50am yesterday for a special sitting of the district court, accompanied by a number of gardaí.

Wearing dark jeans and a grey jumper, he was taken into the courtroom at about 11.10am and spoke with his sister before the proceedings began.

During the hearing, Detective Sergeant Sean O’Meara told the court that he formally arrested the accused at 8.32 on Saturday night and charged him. After caution, Renars Veigulis replied “no”.

Tony Collier, solicitor for the accused, said given the nature of the charge, there would be no application for bail. He did apply for legal aid. “He’s not in a position to work at the moment.”

Legal aid was granted by Judge Colin Daly.

Inspector Joe Carton applied to the court for a remand in custody to Cloverhill District Court on May 26 and Mr Collier said that this was by consent. Judge Daly remanded the accused in custody, to appear at Cloverhill District Court on May 26.

Several gardaí, both uniformed and in plain clothes, were present in the courtroom for the hearing, including Detective Superintendent Michael Hennebry, who is the senior detective for the southeast region.

Originally from Latvia, Rita Apine lived at St Teresa’s Terrace in Kilkenny City for some time before moving with her young daughter to rented accommodation in Freshford late last year.

Her death caused shock among her friends and in the north Kilkenny village, where many local people spoke of often seeing her walking with her daughter.

She was found with serious head injuries at the bottom of the stairs in her rented house on Bridge St, Freshford, at about noon last Sunday.

She was treated on the footpath outside by paramedics after the emergency services were alerted, but died later in St Luke’s General Hospital, Kilkenny.

A memorial service was organised by friends and locals at the church in Loughboy, Kilkenny, on Sunday, and a candlelit vigil held on Thursday night in Freshford in memory of Rita Apine was attended by hundreds of people.

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