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State granted further time in Clare murder case

THE State has been granted extra time to serve a book of evidence on a man accused of murdering a woman in Ennis.
Patrick Ballard (34), with a former address at Ashford Court Hotel, Ennis, is charged with the murder of Sharon Bennett at Garraunakilla, the Market, Ennis on January 28, 2021, contrary to Common Law.
Ms Bennett (29), a native of Wexford who lived in Clare, died 13 days later at University Hospital Limerick.
Ballard appeared before Ennis District Court yesterday via video link from Limerick Prison where he has been on remand since January.
Sergeant Aiden Lonergan told the court that the charge of murder was put to the accused on March 24 and the State has 42 days, up to May 5, to serve the book of evidence.
Sergeant Lonergan said the book was not yet available and he was seeking to have the case further adjourned to May 12.
He said the State was also seeking extra time to allow for service of the book.
Defence solicitor Tara Godfrey told the court that her client appreciates that it will take time for the book of evidence to be prepared and she was consenting to the extension of time.
Judge Sandra Murphy remanded Ballard in custody to appear again at Ennis District Court on May 12, via video link.

By Ronan Judge

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