Limerick murder accused is remanded in custody

A MAN accused of murdering two women and two young children in Newcastle West last year has been further remanded in custody as a major Garda investigation into the case is continuing.

A MAN accused of murdering two women and two young children in Newcastle West last year has been further remanded in custody as a major Garda investigation into the case is continuing.

John Geary, 31, who is originally from Milford in County Cork but has an address at Meadow Court, Newcastle West, appeared before Judge Mary O’Halloran in the town this week.

He is charged with the murders of his former partner Sarah Hines, 25, her children Reece, 3, and Amy, five months, and 20-year-old Alicia Brough at a house in the Hazelgrove estate in Newcastle West on November 15 last.

Speaking in court, Insp Eamon O’Neill of Newcastle West Garda Station requested a further adjournment until March 24.

Solicitor for the accused, John Herbert, had no objection to the remand but pointed out that time was running in the case.

Mr Herbert said that a book of evidence in the case has still yet to be furnished to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

He added that it was his understanding that there are a number of “stumbling blocks” in the way of the State’s work.

Insp O’Neill told the court that three members of the gardai were working on the case full time, and that to date 400 statements had been taken and 350 separate lines of enquiry are currently being followed.

The investigation is covering four garda districts, he added.

Insp O’Neill added that one officer has also travelled to the UK to interview a key witness, and that there are detailed forensic aspects to the case.

The investigation “is being done as expeditiously as possible”, Insp O’Neill added. “I sat down with three [garda] members and in about three weeks [the book of evidence] will be gone to the DPP.”

Judge O’Halloran noted that Mr Geary has been in custody for several weeks since he was first charged, and granted the adjournment until March 24 as requested.

“Hopefully, we will have progress at that stage,” she said.