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Dublin: 3°C Monday 6 December 2021

Teenage boy pleads guilty to murdering Cork student Cameron Blair

The boy will be detained at Oberstown Children Detention Centre until 3 April.

Image: Bandon Rugby via Facebook

A TEENAGE BOY has admitted to murdering 20-year-old college student Cameron Blair in Co Cork earlier this year.

The 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named because he is a minor, was arraigned before the Central Criminal Court today.

He was charged with murdering Cameron Blair on Bandon Road in Co Cork on 16 January. Dressed in a grey shirt and black trousers, he stood and pleaded guilty to the offence.

Mr Blair was a native of Ballinascarthy in west Cork and a second-year chemical engineering student at Cork Institute of Technology. He died at Cork University Hospital on 16 January after being stabbed in the neck while attending a student party at a house in Cork city. 

Brendan Grehan SC, defending, said his client was present in court with his father and two of his aunts. 

Following the boy’s arraignment, Anne Rowland SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) asked the court to remand the accused man in custody to Oberstown Children Detention Centre and direct the preparation of a probation report.

He can only be remanded in custody for 28 days and these are “uncertain times”, she added. 

Rowland asked for liberty to mention the matter between now and the next date and said this may have to be done by video link. 

Grehan said he did not think any psychiatric issues arose in the case but thought it would be useful to have a psychological report. 

Justice Paul McDermott said he was conscious of the “time factor” involved and put the matter in for 3 April at 2pm. The judge said he was hopeful that progress could be made on that date.

The court also heard that there will be victim impact evidence on 3 April and it will take two hours. 

Rowland said the deceased’s family were extremely anxious that if at all possible the sentence hearing could be dealt with in Cork. 

In reply, Grehan said in any other circumstances there would be no difficulty but pointed out that the Central Criminal Court has stopped hearings in Cork.

The judge agreed with the defence barrister and said it was a “rapidly moving” situation and a colleague had been due to travel to Cork but “all of these plans had been set aside by reason of the Government’s direction”.

The matter would take place in the Central Criminal Court in Dublin and the case would be heard on that day if the matter was ready to proceed, he explained. 

Justice McDermott directed that the boy be detained at Oberstown Children Detention Centre until 3 April, when a psychological assessment and probation report will be made available to the court. 

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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