Saturday 16 November 2019

Dwyer murder trial 'to be a long and difficult case' - judge

Trial of architect Graham Dwyer delayed for another two days at the Central Criminal Court

Graham Dwyer: accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara.
Picture: Courtpix
Graham Dwyer: accused of the murder of Elaine O’Hara. Picture: Courtpix
Andrew Phelan

Andrew Phelan

The trial of architect Graham Dwyer, who is charged with the murder of childcare assistant Elaine O’Hara has been delayed for another two days at the Central Criminal Court.

Mr Justice Tony Hunt adjourned what he said would be “a long and difficult case” until Thursday, telling the jury it was not possible for the case to proceed today.

Dwyer (42), a father-of-two of Kerrymount Close, Foxrock, is charged with the murder of Ms O’Hara (37) at Killakee, Rathfarnham on August 22, 2012.

Her remains were found in undergrowth in the foothills of the Dublin mountains on September 13, 2013, more than a year after she disappeared.

The trial, before Mr Justice Hunt and a jury of seven men and five women is expected to take between six and eight weeks.

This morning, the judge thanked the jury but told them the case was not going to proceed today. He said he would not "weary" them with the details.

He asked them to return on Thursday morning for the commencement of the trial and advised them not to discuss the case with anyone and to ignore all media coverage.

Mr Justice Hunt told the jurors that their opinions were the only ones that mattered in the trial.

He noted that the case had attracted a lot of attention in the media.

“Between now and the end of the case I want you to ignore any other form of opinion,” he said.

When the jury was sworn in yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Carney told the panel of potential jurors to indicate if they were “particularly squeamish.”

“This case will be difficult for anybody who is particularly squeamish,” the judge said, explaining that it was important that the jury be held together for the duration of the trial.

One woman was excused from serving after she said that she was. Mr Justice Carney also said anyone who knew anyone who had a connection with a named website should not serve.

The accused, originally from Co Cork, worked for a firm of architects in Dublin.

Ms O'Hara vanished on August 22, 2012 after leaving her home in Belarmine Plaza, Stepaside.

Her remains were uncovered by a dog on a walk with its owner in September 13, 2013.

The opening in November 2013 of an inquest heard that no cause of death had been established and the inquest was adjourned until the outcome of criminal proceedings.

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