Student accused of killing Robert remanded

A 20-YEAR-OLD engineering student charged with the manslaughter of schoolboy Robert Holohan has been remanded in custody to appear in court again on February 3.

Wayne O'Donoghue, a neighbour of the boy, sat silently throughout a four-minute hearing at Midleton District Court in Co Cork yesterday. The packed courtroom included O'Donoghue's parents, Ray and Therese.

Inspector Martin Dorney sought to have the case against O'Donoghue, of Ballyedmond Hill, Midleton adjourned until February 17.

O'Donoghue's solicitor, Frank Buttimer, then told the court he had been instructed by his client not to apply for bail and to seek a two-week adjournment of the case.

Judge Michael Pattwell informed Mr Buttimer that the student could apply for bail at any stage, although, if sought, advance notice should be given to gardaí.

The judge said Midleton District Court would be sitting on Thursday, February 3. "If there is any further application on that date I will notify the gardaí in advance," Mr Buttimer replied.

"I may be making an application with regard to the overall process and if there is going to be an application I will be informing the gardaí beforehand," the solicitor added.

O'Donoghue made his first court appearance last Monday and Judge Pattwell said gardaí had 42 days from that date to prepare a Book of Evidence.

The Cork Institute of Technology student arrived at Midleton Garda Station at 8.45am. He emerged at 10.20am and walked with more than a dozen gardaí the few yards to the back door of the courthouse.

A handful of onlookers watched from across the street, while more stood quietly outside the AIB branch directly opposite the main entrance to the court.

O'Donoghue's parents held hands outside the court before proceedings began and after the brief hearing walked into the garda station.

Their son was taken to a van parked outside the garda station, and shortly before noon he began his journey back to the Midlands prison in Portlaoise.

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