MURDER accused Graham Dwyer has been remanded in custody until the New Year by the District Court but he is heading to the Supreme Court tomorrow in a bid to be freed for Christmas.
Father of two Graham Dwyer (41) is accused of the murder of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara, whose remains were found by a woman walking her dog in the Dublin mountains last September.
She had been missing for more than a year.
Last month, Dwyer, who is originally from Cork, was denied bail at the High Court.
He has now appealed that refusal to the Supreme Court. It will sit on Thursday morning to hear the case, following requests by Dwyer and the DPP for a priority hearing.
If the Supreme Court rules the High Court erred, the matter is expected to be returned to the High Court for a fresh hearing.
This fresh hearing could take place as early as next Monday, as the High Court is sitting, meaning it is possible that Dwyer could be spending Christmas at home.
This morning, Dwyer, of Kerrymount Close in Foxrock, appeared via videolink before Cloverhill District Court. He did not address the court, save to give his name and indicate he could see and hear the court.
A State solicitor said the DPP has directed trial on indictment in the Central Criminal Court on the charge.
Defence solicitor Jonathan Dunphy said there was consent to a four week adjournment in custody for the service of the book of evidence, though the State has already indicated the book may not be ready on the next date.
A State solicitor said the book of evidence was large, and was an "eight volume tome".
Judge Grainne Malone remanded Dwyer in custody until January 15.
Dwyer has been remanded at Cloverhill Prison since he was formally charged with the murder of 37-year-old Ms O'Hara in October.
His parents were in court on November 4 last when High Court Judge Mr Justice Paul Butler refused bail.
The judge heard that Mr Dwyer's father had offered an independent surety of €25,000 and for Mr Dwyer to stay at an address in Bandon, Co Cork.
Childcare worker Ms O'Hara, who was from Killiney, Co Dublin, and who also had a part-time job in a newsagents, was last seen at around 6.15pm on August 22, 2012, near the Shanganagh Cemetery in south Dublin, where her mother is buried.
Her remains were found in undergrowth by a woman walking her dog on September 13 this year on Killakee mountain, Rathfarnham, more than a year after she was reported missing.
By chance, several items belonging to her were also found near Roundwood, Co Wicklow, in the days before and after the discovery of her remains.
Dwyer, a married man with two children, is a member of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland.
By Eimear Cotter