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Two in court charged with river murder

MORE than 300 people gathered outside a special court sitting where two people were charged with the murder of a young man whose body was recovered from a west Cork river.

Catherine O'Connor (35) and Cyprian Grozavu (37) arrived at Bandon Courthouse amid tight Garda security shortly before 6pm last night.

Both were charged with the murder of Jonathan Duke (27) last Sunday.

The body of Mr Duke -- a Bandon native and father-of-one -- was recovered from underneath Bandon bridge in the early hours of last Monday morning.

The body had been snagged on wooden debris underneath the bridge. He died from serious head injuries.

His mother, Michelle, and one of his sisters sat silently at the back of the courtroom for the brief hearing.

More than 40 gardai maintained a tight cordon around the courthouse throughout the 20-minute hearing.

Both defendants have addresses at Bridge House, Sean Hales Place, Bandon, Co Cork.

Supt Eddie MacEoin told the court that both defendants were earlier charged at Bandon garda station.

Det Garda Michael Brosnan said that he cautioned and charged O'Connor and, in reply, she simply said: "No."

Garda Kieran Murphy said that he cautioned and charged Grozavu and, in reply, he stated: "I didn't do it."

O'Connor's counsel, Eddie Burke, asked that the court direct that his client receive required medication while on remand in Limerick Prison and a psychiatric assessment.

"There is a history of this," he said.

Judge James McNulty granted free legal aid after being told that O'Connor is currently in receipt of disability allowance.

Free legal aid was also granted to Grozavu after his counsel, Macaire Adams, told the court he was currently unemployed.

Judge McNulty said that, as both are charged with murder, the issue of bail does not arise before the District Court.

He remanded both in custody to appear again before Bandon District Court on Monday next.