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Court hearing Trial of man accused of murdering Philip Finnegan in Kildare woods to start

When the registrar read the indictment to the accused and asked him how he was pleading, he replied: “Not guilty”.

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Philip Finnegan

Philip Finnegan

Philip Finnegan

A 38-year-old man will go on trial this week accused of murdering a man in a Kildare woods over five years ago.

Stephen Penrose of Newtown Court, Malahide Road, Coolock, Dublin 17, is charged with murdering Philip Finnegan (24) at Rahin Woods, Rahin, Co Kildare on August 10, 2016.

Wearing a white shirt, grey jumper and dark trousers, Mr Penrose stood up when arraigned before the Central Criminal Court today.

When the registrar read the indictment to the accused and asked him how he was pleading, he replied: “Not guilty”.

Addressing the jury panel, Mr Justice Paul McDermott said the accused Mr Penrose is from west Kildare and the deceased Mr Finnegan was from the south inner city of Dublin.

Most of the gardai concerned in the case, the judge said, are from the Leixlip area of Co Kildare. "There is a good deal of CCTV footage, telecommunication experts and technical people giving evidence," he added.

A jury of eight men and four women was sworn in to hear the trial, which is due to begin on Thursday before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and is expected to take between five and six weeks.

Earlier, Mr Justice McDermott told the jury panel that the only thing relevant to them is the evidence they hear during the course of the trial and said it was not appropriate to search for information on the internet.

"People become aware of things through the media or social media and all of that is of no relevance," he said, adding that they should limit themselves to "what goes on" in the courtroom.

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