*Photograph: John Mangan

A 49-year old man pleaded guilty on Friday to the false imprisonment and assault causing harm of his ex-partner during a ‘horrifying ordeal’ at her home in West Clare last September.

At Ennis Circuit Court, Kevin Murphy, formerly of Querrin, Kilkee, pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment and assault causing harm of his ex-partner at her remote home at Querrin in on September 5th last.

During the incident, Mr Murphy pushed his ex-partner into a downstairs bedroom and pushed her face-down onto a bed where he restricted her hands with cable ties and tied them behind her back.

Garda Alison White told a bail hearing for Mr Murphy in the district court last year that the woman was “terrified” that Mr Murphy “was going to rape her or kill her”.

Bail was refused and Mr Murphy has been on remand in custody since.

In court, counsel for Mr Murphy, Pat Barriscale BL asked that the legal aid certificate be extended to cover a psychiatric report on his client “as there are some background issues that need to be investigated”.

Mr Barriscale said that Mr Murphy is in custody for these offences alone and that his solicitor, Daragh Hassett is hopeful that the psychiatric report can be completed quickly.

Judge Francis Comerford ruled that Mr Murphy can now be named after lifting reporting restrictions on Mr Murphy’s identity that were in place when the case was before the district court.

Judge Comerford said that he could see no basis for the reporting restrictions to remain in place.

Sgt Louis Moloney said at the bail hearing that what occurred was a ‘horrifying ordeal” for the woman.

Mr Murphy and the injured party had been in a relationship for a number of years and broke up earlier last year.

On the night in question, the two had dinner together but the injury party rejected Mr Murphy’s advances when he tried to kiss her.

Garda White told the bail hearing that as the injured party later left the room and climbed the stairs, she was assaulted by Mr Murphy who pulled her back down the stairs and he punched her in the back of the head twice.

Garda White said that eventually Mr Murphy freed her after around a half an hour and she was released from the room.

Garda White said that when Mr Murphy fell asleep, the woman texted a friend who notified Gardai.

Judge Comerford remanded Mr Murphy in custody to March 8th to Ennis Circuit Court to fix a date for sentence.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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