29 November 2005

Man admits killing Cork schoolboy


29/11/2005 - 12:09:46

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Robert Holohan

The young man accused of murdering Midleton schoolboy Robert Holohan pleaded not guilty to murder today but admitted the charge of manslaughter.

Engineering student Wayne O'Donoghue (aged 20) of Ballyedmond, Midleton, was arraigned on the single count on the indictment at the Central Criminal Court in Cork, namely that of murdering 11-year-old Robert Holohan in Ballyedmond, Midleton, Co Cork, on January 4, 2005.

O’Donoghue stood in the dock in a grey suit with pale shirt and dark tie and replied: “Not guilty to murder and guilty to manslaughter.”

A jury of seven women and five men was then sworn in to hear the murder case. Mr Justice Paul Carney was told that the trial was expected to last for two to three weeks.

The case will be opened to the jury by prosecution senior counsel, Shane Murphy, later this afternoon.

The judge agreed to give the prosecution and defence some time to discuss the order of witnesses and other procedural issues.

There is intense media interest in the case. Camera crews, broadcasters and print journalists were at the courthouse on Washington Street from early today.

Jury panelists who were served with summonses were in court at 10am.

Those who did not attend face the possibility of prosecution and fines for ignoring the summons.

There was a roll call followed by the arraignment of the accused, followed by the random selection of jurors.

There were objections made to several people from defence and prosecution lawyers. A number of others asked to be excused because of work commitments or pre-arranged holidays.

The seven women and five men who were empanelled selected a woman from among them as foreman for the duration of the trial.

Robert Holohon's body was found on January 12 near Inch Strand in east Cork, about 19km from his Ballyedmond home.

The fifth-class schoolboy had been missing since January 4.

No details of the case will be given until Mr Murphy opens the case some time after 2pm.

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