Student charged with killing schoolboy Robert

A STUDENT appeared in court last night charged with the manslaughter of Midleton schoolboy Robert Holohan.

Wayne O’Donoghue, aged 20, of Ballyedmond Hill, Midleton, appeared before the town’s district court shortly after 8.30pm.

Approximately 100 people gathered outside the courthouse as O’Donoghue was led in. Some members of the crowd, which included many young people, shouted at the CIT student. O’Donoghue, a second-year engineering student, is accused of unlawfully killing 11-year-old Robert on January 4 this year.

The court heard that when charged at 7.16pm yesterday at Midleton Garda Station, O’Donoghue replied: “Nothing to say.”

During the short court hearing, witnessed by a crowd of approximately 50 people, including a relative of Robert’s, the accused made no comment.

O’Donoghue, dressed in a suit and tie, stood throughout the hearing. His solicitor, Frank Buttimer, said he was not making an application for bail at this stage. By agreement, O’Donoghue will be held in Cork Prison.

Judge Michael Pattwell was assured there were facilities in the jail for O’Donoghue, though he is under 21 years of age.

Detective Sergeant Brian Goulding, of Midleton Garda Station, told the court that he arrested and charged O’Donoghue at Oliver Plunkett Place.

The accused was then formally cautioned and told that he was not obliged to say anything unless he wished to do so. O’Donoghue then stated: “Nothing to say.”

Mr Buttimer, cross-examining Det Sgt Goulding, raised a number of points.

Det Sgt Goulding agreed that the detention of O’Donoghue was preceded by contact between a member of the accused’s family and the gardaí.

Det Sgt Goulding also said that gardaí were invited to the home of the accused, where an “interview process took place”.

He added that the accused was aware at that stage that he would be arrested in respect of this matter and that by doing so he was assisting the gardaí.

Mr Buttimer suggested that his client “made himself amenable to that process”. “That’s correct,” Det Sgt Goulding replied.

The court was also told O’Donoghue was in the company of the gardaí for a lengthy period prior to his arrest late on Monday evening.

Judge Pattwell remanded the accused in custody to Cork Prison to appear at Midleton District Court next Thursday, January 20, at 10.30am.

O’Donoghue’s parents and his two brothers were in court for the hearing.

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