LESS than 24 hours after the discovery of a body of a woman in Mountrath, Portlaoise Gardai charged a 40-year-old unemployed man with the murder of Diane Burroughs at the weekend.
Flanked by detectives from Portlaoise, Jason Daly of PJ Delaney Flats, Main Street, Mountrath, left Birr District Court at around 5pm Monday with his face hidden from view. He had been remanded in custody for the murder of the Kildare woman sometime last Saturday, April 16.
Detective Sergeant Ken Creegan told the court he had arrested and charged Daly with the murder of Ms Burroughs at Portlaoise Garda Station at 2.10pm on Sunday. When cautioned on the charge the defendant replied “guilty”, Det Sgt Creegan told the court. Ms Burroughs’ body was discovered at a flat in Mountrath about 8pm on Saturday evening.
During the short hearing Garda Superintendent Philip Lyons applied to have the defendant remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison to appear before Cloverhill District Court on April 21.
Solicitor Declan Breen said his client was unemployed. He requested legal aid and asked that the defendant receive medical and psychiatric treatment.
Judge Catherine Staines consented to the request for legal aid. She remanded the defendant in custody with a recommendation that he be given medical and psychiatric care.
Daly, who has a shaved head and goatie beard, appeared at the court wearing blue tracksuit bottoms, a pale blue t-shirt and white runners. He remained silent during the brief appearance.
Both the accused and Ms Burroughs are believed to have know each other and were understood to have been in an “on-off relationship”.
The accused is understood to be a native of Sandyford, Dublin. He moved to Laois just last year but he has connections here - his parents settled in Clonaslee some years ago and at least one sister in his large family of 11 live in the county.
Reports that the accused walked into a pub on Saturday claiming to have taken the life of Ms Burroughs have been dissmissed by Portlaoise Gardai who continue to investigate the killing.
The deceased hailed from Castlemitchell near Athy. The mother of one, had been living in Portlaoise but had moved to Mountrath last year. She is understood to have had mental health issues. It is a second tragedy experienced by the Burrough’s family. Diane’s brother Peter died sixteen years ago at the age of 19.
A murder investigation got underway on Saturday after Gardai were notified that a dead woman had been discovered at 8 pm. Not long afterwards, Mr Daly was arrested and detained at Portlaoise Garda Station where he was held under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.
The body of the woman remained at the scene on Saturday night pending the arrival of the Deputy State Pathologist Dr. Michael Curtis. A an extensive three day forensic crime scene examination was out by the Garda Technical Bureau. While reports said that strangulation was the cause of death, Gardai insisted that this has yet to be confirmed.
The accused has so far not applied for release on bail and is due to appear before Cloverhill District Court on Thursday.
Portlaoise Gardai have appealed for help from anybody who may have witnessed anything last Saturday in relation to the murder. They are trying to establish the movements of the accused over the weekend. Contact Portlaoise Garda Station at 057 - 8674100