Man charged over Collins murder
A 48 year-old-man is to stand trial before the Central Criminal Court charged with the murder of a woman twelve years ago whose body has never been found.
Martin Earley with an address at Bannagher, Carrowmore Lacken, Ballina, Co Mayo, appeared before Judge Patrick Durcan at a special sitting of Ballina District Court charged with the murder of Sandra Collins (29), from Ballina, in or about December 4th, 2000.
Det Garda Naughton said when he arrested Mr Earley before 5pm yesterday on a charge of murdering Miss Collins, the accused replied “no comment”.
Replying to the charge in court Mr Earley remarked “nothing to answer”.
After evidence of arrest, charge and caution was given by Det Eddie Naughton, Supt Pat McHugh said the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed the accused stand trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Supt McHugh asked that Mr Earley be remanded in custody to Castlerea Prison on Friday next, January 4th, for the preparation of a book of evidence.
Alan Gannon, solicitor for the accused, said the case involved “a matter of some antiquity” and he wanted to know when the book of evidence would be ready.
During the hearing, members of Sandra Collins’s family including her brother, Patrick and sisters, Mary and Bridie, sat in the body of the courtroom listening to the proceedings.
Ms Collins was last seen in Killala at 11pm on December 4th, 2000 when she went to buy chips. Four days later, her fleece jacket was found on the pier at Killala.