Death inquest adjourned pending appeal

An inquest into the death of a mother who was stabbed to death before her house was set ablaze was adjourned yesterday pending an appeal by the man convicted of her murder.

Death inquest adjourned pending appeal

Coroner for South Cork, Frank O’Connell, said he had no option but to adjourn the inquest into the death of Olivia Dunlea O’Brien, 36, in Co Cork, just over two years ago.

Ms Dunlea O’Brien’s body was found upstairs in her home in Pembroke Crescent, Passage West, Co Cork, on February 17, 2013, after firefighters were called to a blaze at the house.

Darren Murphy, aged 37, of Dan Desmond Villas, Passage West, Co Cork, was convicted last year of her murder and was handed a mandatory life sentence.

Darren Murphy of Dan Desmond Villas, Passage West,

was convicted of her murder. Picture: Daragh Mc Sweeney

As Ms Dunlea O’Brien’s inquest was opened yesterday, Mr O’Connell was told that Murphy is appealing the conviction. Gardaí said there was no indication of when the appeal would be dealt with.

Mr O’Connell then took evidence of identification and cause of death to allow the family take up a death certificate.

The inquest was told that State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the Central Criminal Court that Ms Dunlea O’Brien died from stab wounds to the neck and the inhalation of smoke.

The inquest was told that the trial heard she was alive when her house was set alight. Mr O’Connell then adjourned proceedings pending the Court of Appeal hearing. He said he will mention the inquest again next January for an update on the legal proceedings.

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