Ennis man appears in court charged with murder of 29-year-old mother of two

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Patrick Ballard has been on remand in prison after being initially charged with assault causing harm.

AN ENNIS MAN has been charged with the murder of mother of two, Sharon Bennett.

At Ennis District Court, Patrick Ballard (34) appeared after being charged with the murder of Wexford native, Bennett.

Ballard has been on remand in prison after being initially charged with the assault causing harm of Bennett (29) in the Market area of Ennis on Thursday, 28 January last.

Bennett died 13 days later at University Hospital Limerick.

At Ennis District Court today, Detective Garda Noelle Bergin gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution of Ballard at 10.30am this morning before court.

Detective Garda Bergin told the court that Ballard of Ashford Court Hotel, Ennis made “no reply” in response to caution and charge.

Sergeant Aiden Lonergan applied that the initial charge of assault causing harm against Ballard be withdrawn now that the murder charge has been made.

Judge Patrick Durcan acceded to that request and struck out the assault causing harm charge.

Judge Durcan stated that as it is a murder charge, the question of bail in the district court doesn’t arise.

Judge Durcan granted legal aid to solicitor, Tara Godfrey concerning the murder charge.

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Godfrey applied that Ballard be psychiatrically assessed while on remand in prison and Judge Durcan granted that application.

Judge Durcan directed that the completed assessment be made available to Godfrey and that she also write to the prison governor concerning his direction to have the assessment carried out.

Ballard and Bennett were in a relationship at the time of the alleged murder and Bennett was a mother of two girls, aged nine and six from a previous relationship.

Judge Durcan remanded Ballard in custody to re-appear before Gort District Court tomorrow, Thursday, 25 March.

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