Woman beaten to death in row during drinking session, trial hears

Cathal O’Sullivan denies murdering Nicola Collins (38) at his rented flat in Cork last year

Cathal O’Sullivan (45) is on trial accused of beating Nicola Collins (pictured) to death in his flat on Popham’s Road, Farranree, Cork on March 27th, 2017. Image: Provision.

A mother-of-three was beaten to death by a man she was visiting when a row erupted during a drinking session in his flat in Cork, the Central Criminal Court has been told.

Tom Creed SC, prosecuting, said the jury in the murder trial would hear that Cathal O'Sullivan (45) beat Nicola Collins to death in the rented property on Popham's Road, Farranree on March 27th, 2017.

Mr O'Sullivan, originally from Charleville, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering Ms Collins, who is a native of Tralee in Co Kerry.

Mr Creed said Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster would say that her postmortem found that Ms Collins (38) suffered extreme blunt force trauma consistent with sustaining blows to the head. There were also signs of asphyxia.


He said the jury would hear that Ms Collins suffered multiple injuries including a displaced fracture of her lower jaw, a number of broken front teeth, a cut to her forehead as well as bruising to her arm, neck, left breast and stomach.

“The prosecution case is that Mr O’Sullivan killed Nicola Collins and that at the time he killed Nicola Collins, at the very least, he intended to cause her serious injury. The prosecution case is that the accused beat Nicola Collins to death,” he said.

‘Well kept’

Mr Creed said the jury would also hear evidence from a taxi driver who brought Ms Collins from her home in Clashduv on Cork’s southside to Popham’s Road on March 23rd, 2017. The driver would say that she had no visible sign of injury and looked ‘well kept’ when he dropped her off, counsel said.

The jury would also see CCTV footage showing Ms Collins and Mr O’Sullivan leaving the flat to buy alcohol at a supermarket at various stages but they would see footage of her alive for the last time when she was seen going into the flat on March 24th at 11.24am, he said.

When Ms Collins was discovered shortly after 3am on March 27th, 2017, by the emergency services, she was lying naked on her back on the floor with her legs resting on a bed and had no pulse, counsel said.

The jury would also hear that Mr O’Sullivan phoned the emergency services to alert them to Ms Collins condition at 3.05am. Before he did that, he had made two phone calls to a friend at 1.33am and 2.15am with one call lasting for 32 minutes, Mr Creed said.

He said the court would hear evidence of blood splatters in the bedroom and bathroom of the flat and that scientist Dr Sarah Fleming would say that blood stains on the bedclothes and a T-shirt were from Ms Collins.

The trial before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork is expected to last about two weeks.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times