Book of evidence still being prepared in Mary O'Keeffe murder case

Man accused of murder after pensioner's body found in burnt out car near Doneraile, Co Cork, in February
Book of evidence still being prepared in Mary O'Keeffe murder case

The road into the woods at Dromdeer East, Doneraile, Co Cork, where the body of Mary O’Keeffe was found in a burnt-out car. File picture: Dan Linehan

The book of evidence is still being prepared in the case against the 62-year-old man accused of murdering pensioner Mary O’Keeffe, whose body was found in a burning car in Doneraile, Co Cork.

Sergeant John Kelleher said at Cork District Court yesterday: “There is no book of evidence yet.” 

The sergeant sought an adjournment in the case to allow time for the preparation of the book. 

Frank Buttimer, solicitor, stood in for defence solicitor Kevin Power for the brief remand hearing and said there was no objection to that prosecution application.

Michael Leonard, of Hillcrest, Glenosheen, Kilmallock, Co Limerick, appeared at Cork District Court by video link from prison.

Mr Leonard is accused of murder contrary to common law on February 4 of 72-year-old Mary O’Keeffe at Dromdeer East, Doneraile.

Judge Olann Kelleher remanded him in continuing custody until August 18.

Medical assistance for Mr Leonard in prison was directed following his first court appearance. This assistance was to include psychological and physical assistance, including a psychiatric assessment.

The late Ms O’Keeffe lived in Dromahane, near Mallow, and worked as a cook. She is survived by her three sons. 

An autopsy was carried out on her body at Cork University Hospital on February 5, carried out by assistant State pathologist Margaret Bolster. The results were not released. 

The alarm was raised on Thursday afternoon of February 4 when a passerby spotted a car on fire near the Coillte forest in Doneraile. 

Ms O’Keeffe was pronounced dead at the scene.

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