29 November 2005

Student faces trial in relation to schoolboy's murder


29/11/2005 - 07:11:10

A 20-year-old student is to stand trial today charged with the murder of a Co Cork schoolboy, Robert Holohan, whose body was found dumped near an isolated beach eight days after he disappeared.

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Wayne O'Donoghue

Wayne O’Donoghue, from Ballyedmond, Midleton, is charged with killing 11-year-old Robert on January 4 this year.

A jury is expected to be sworn at a special sitting of the Central Criminal Court at Cork’s Washington Street courthouse, only the second time a murder trial has been heard in the city.

Robert went missing near his Ballyedmond home after going out to play on a BMX bike he had been given as a present for Christmas. The bicycle was found at the roadside 500 yards from his home.

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Robert Holohan

A massive search of the surrounding area was launched with thousands of people, gardaí, defence forces and civil defence involved in the hunt.

Eight days after his disappearance Robert’s body was found covered in black plastic hidden in undergrowth at the edge of Inch Strand, 12 miles from his home.

A post mortem exam, carried out by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, showed that Robert died from asphyxiation.

The trial is expected to be presided over by Mr Justice Paul Carney and dozens of witnesses are likely to be called.

It will be the second murder trial to be heard in Cork, after the first such case took place in the city last month.

The case will sit at Cork Courthouse on Washington Street which reopened last February after a five-year closure.

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