Man to be tried for murder of Cork pensioner found in burning car 

The alarm was raised when a passer-by spotted a car on fire.
Man to be tried for murder of Cork pensioner found in burning car 

The 63-year-old man is accused of murdering pensioner, Mary O’Keeffe, whose body was found in a burning car in Doneraile. 

The 63-year-old man accused of murdering pensioner, Mary O’Keeffe, whose body was found in a burning car in Doneraile, was sent forward for trial by judge and jury at the Central Criminal Court.

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

Michael Leonard has been charged with the murder of Mary O'Keeffe from Dromahane.
Michael Leonard has been charged with the murder of Mary O'Keeffe from Dromahane.

Detective Sergeant James O’Shea served the book of evidence on Michael Leonard’s solicitor, Brendan Gill, who was present in court for the brief hearing.

On service of the book of evidence, Sergeant Gearóid Davis applied for the case to be sent forward to the present sittings of the Central Criminal Court and Judge Olann Kelleher acceded to this application.

It will now be a matter for the Central Criminal Court to set a trial date which, it is anticipated, will not be before 2022.

The accused man was remanded in continuing custody. 

Accused of murder 

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 originally charged Leonard with the murder and the accused made no reply when the charge was put to him under caution.

Mary O'Keeffe.
Mary O'Keeffe.

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 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 of February 4 when a passer-by spotted a car on fire near the Coillte forest in Doneraile. Ms O’Keeffe was pronounced dead at the scene.

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