The 62-year-old man accused of murdering pensioner Mary O’Keeffe, whose body was found in a burning car in Doneraile last week, appeared in court by video link from prison today.
Michael Leonard of Hillcrest, Glenosheen, Kilmallock, County Limerick, wore a face mask and was only required to acknowledge that he could see and hear Cork District Court by video link from prison.
His solicitor, Kevin Power, said that while he had consulted with his client just before the court appearance he had been unable to make contact with Leonard in custody due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Judge Olann Kelleher said, “You have to be facilitated as his solicitor. If you have any problem you should bring it to the attention of the court.”
Sergeant Gearóid Davis, “It is for service of a book of evidence but it won’t be ready for a considerable period of time.”
On the application of Sgt. Davis, Judge Kelleher adjourned the case for a fortnight. When the case comes up on February 26 again it will be by video link from prison.
Michael Leonard is accused of murder contrary to common law on February 4 of 72-year-old Mary O’Keeffe at Dromdeer East, Doneraile, County Cork.
Inspector Tony O’Sullivan charged Leonard with the murder and the accused made no reply when the charge was put to him under caution.
Medical assistance for Leonard in prison was directed following his first court appearance. This assistance is to include psychological and physical assistance. A psychiatric assessment is also to be carried out on Leonard at Cork Prison.
The late Ms O’Keeffe lived in Dromahane near Mallow in Co Cork and worked as a cook. She is survived by her three sons.
A post-mortem was carried out on her body at Cork University Hospital on Friday February 5. The results of the post-mortem, which was carried out by Assistant State Pathologist Margaret Bolster, were not released.
The alarm was raised on Thursday afternoon when a passer-by spotted a car on fire near the Coillte forest in Doneraile. Ms O’Keeffe was pronounced dead at the scene.