Thursday 13 December 2018

Accused denies young mum's murder but pleads guilty to her manslaughter

Amy McCarthy was found dead in a derelict building in Cork. Photo: Provision
Amy McCarthy was found dead in a derelict building in Cork. Photo: Provision

Ralph Riegel

A man has denied the murder of a young mother of one in a derelict building but has pleaded guilty to her manslaughter.

Adam O'Keeffe (27) is charged with the murder of Amy McCarthy (22) on April 29 or 30 last year.

The young mother of an infant son was found dead in a derelict office building on Sheares Street in Cork city centre.

The building is just metres from the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) and Cork Courthouse.

Mr O'Keeffe had been arraigned before the Central Criminal Court in Cork for a murder trial before a jury of six men and six women.

The defendant replied when arraigned before Mr Justice David Barniville and the jury panel: "Not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter."

Mr O'Keeffe appeared in court wearing a light blue shirt and dark slacks.

He remained silent throughout the remainder of the hearing. Prosecutor Sean Gillane, for the State, told Judge Barniville that the defendant's manslaughter plea was not acceptable to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

On that basis, the DPP has now instructed that a murder trial begin.

The defendant is represented by Brendan Grehan.

Mr Justice Barniville was told by Mr Gillane that the trial is expected to take between two and three weeks at hearing.

Mr O'Keeffe, of St Vincent's Hostel, Angelsea Terrace, Co Cork, was charged with the young woman's murder before the district court last December.

The defendant is originally from the east Cork area but has been resident in Cork city for some time.

Ms McCarthy died despite desperate efforts by paramedics to revive her.

She was found unresponsive on the second floor of the derelict office building on Sheares Street on the morning of April 30, 2017.

Ms McCarthy was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to the nearby MUH.

The woman was originally from Greenmount in Cork city centre. She gave birth to her son, Adam, the year before.

Members of Ms McCarthy's family attended the Central Criminal Court hearing.

She is survived by Adam, her mother and father, Brian and Regina, and sisters Gillian, Jessica and Hayley.

The trial continues today when the prosecution will make their opening statement to the jury.

Irish Independent

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