Clare man on trial accused of murdering mother-of-two in Ennis

Patrick Ballard (35), formerly of Ashfield Court Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday
Clare man on trial accused of murdering mother-of-two in Ennis

Alison O'Riordan

A Co Clare man will go on trial on Wednesday accused of murdering mother-of-two Sharon Bennett in Ennis last year.

Patrick Ballard (35), formerly of Ashfield Court Hotel, Ennis, Co Clare was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday.

He is charged with murdering Ms Bennett (29) in the Market area of Ennis on February 10th, 2021.

When the registrar read the indictment to the accused and asked him how he was pleading, he replied: "Not guilty".

Addressing the jury panel, Mr Justice Paul Burns said that this matter arose out of an incident that occurred in Ennis on January 28th, 2021 and that Ms Bennett died a number of weeks later on February 10th.

The judge informed the jury panel that both Ms Bennett and Mr Ballard were living in Ennis at the time and that the matter had been investigated by officers from Shannon and Ennis Garda Stations.

Mr Justice Paul Burns swore in a jury of seven men and five women to hear the trial, which will begin before him tomorrow morning and is expected to last two weeks.

Mr Ballard and Ms Bennett were in a relationship at the time of the alleged murder. Ms Bennett was a mother of two girls, then aged nine and six, from a previous relationship.

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