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The incident scene in Lisdoonvarna on Friday. Photograph by John Kelly

32-year-old appears in court charged with Clare murder


A 32-year-old man appeared in court tonight charged with the murder of Lisdoonvarna man, John O’Neill.

At a special sitting of Ennis District Court at 9.25pm on Saturday night, Thomas Lorigan, of no fixed abode, appeared charged with the murder of Mr O’Neill (78) at St Brendan’s Road, Lisdoonvarna, at an unknown time on January 6/7.

Giving evidence of arrest, charge and caution at Ennis Garda Station at 8.03pm on Saturday evening, Dt Sgt John Farmer of Kilrush Garda Station told the court that when cautioned and charged, Mr Lorigan said ‘no comment’.

Insp Helen Costello told the court that the Garda application was to remand Mr Lorigan in custody and that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had directed a trial on indictment.

Solicitor for Mr Lorigan, Shiofra Hassett asked that Mr Lorigan be psychiatrically assessed while on remand in prison.

Judge Marie Keane remanded Mr Lorigan to Limerick Prison and directed that it be noted on the warrant that Mr Lorigan consented to being transferred to Cloverhill prison where he will be automatically psychiatrically assessed.

Judge Keane granted legal aid to Ms Hassett to represent Mr Lorigan in the case.

Judge Keane remanded Mr Lorigan in custody to appear via video-link from prison at Ennis District Court on Wednesday next.

The deceased in the case, father-of-two John O’Neill had only recently lost his wife, Christine and ran a B&B in Lisdoonvarna.

by Gordon Deegan

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