Tuesday 13 November 2018

Man pleads 'not guilty' to murder of mum-of-three Nicola Collins at trial opening

Nicola Collins who was found dead in Cork
Nicola Collins who was found dead in Cork
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

A MAN has today denied the murder of mother of three Nicola Collins (38) who was found with fatal injuries in a Cork flat last year.

The murder trial of Cathal O'Sullivan (44) opened before the Central Criminal Court, sitting in Cork, as he formally pleaded not guilty to the murder of Ms Collins.

The young mother, who was originally from Kerry, was discovered unresponsive in a Farranree flat in Cork in the early hours of March 27 2017.

Ms Collins was pronounced dead at the scene before she could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

O'Sullivan, who is originally from Charleville in north Cork, was charged with the murder of Ms Collins before Cork District Court in August 2017.

In response to the murder charge, he told Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and the jury of eight men and four women he was "not guilty".

The defendant appeared in court wearing a dark pin-stripe suit, white shirt and grey tie.

The Central Criminal Court jury was told the murder trial is expected to require two weeks at hearing.

Tom Creed SC, for the State, told Ms Justice Creedon that a significant number of witnesses were involved.

He said the schedule of witnesses would be discussed between the prosecution and defence legal teams to aid the trial process.

The case will formally commence with the State's opening address later this afternoon.

The body of Ms Collins, a native of St Brendans Park in Tralee, Co Kerry but who had been living at Clashduv Road in the Togher area of Cork over recent years, was found in an upstairs flat at Popham's Road, Farranree on Cork's northside last year.

The grim discovery was made at around 3am on March 27 after the alarm had been raised by a local resident.

Ms Collins was found with serious injuries when the emergency services were called to the flat which was located over a local grocery store.

Paramedics were unable to revive her and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Garda investigation was upgraded to a murder probe following a post mortem examination at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

Ms Collins is survived by her parents, Kay and Michael, her sister, Carly, and her children, Nick, Adam and Michael.

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