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24 May 2022

'Benign' approach sought by solicitor for woman held last week during Ashling murder probe

'Benign' approach sought by solicitor for woman held last week during Ashling murder probe

Tullamore District Court hears woman "refused to recognise court"

A solicitor has asked that a benign approach be taken in the prosecution of a woman arrested last week during the Ashling Murphy murder investigation. 

Neara Tanase (27), was charged with failing to leave her home in Tullamore when it was designated a crime scene on January 12.

Ms Tanase's brother, Radu Floricel (39), was arrested at the same residence that day and detained for questioning until his release the following night, Thursday.

Gardai said he had been eliminated from their enquiries and was no longer a suspect.

Earlier last Thursday, Ms Tanase appeared before Portlaoise District Court and was granted bail but was placed in custody because she did not take up the bail.

She was subsequently released from prison on bail following the release of her brother from Tullamore Garda Station. 

At Tullamore District Court today (Wednesday, January 19) Ms Tanase's solicitor, Donal Farrelly, who had previously been assisting Mr Floricel, said the woman was pleading not guilty but he hoped the State would take a benign approach in view of the matters relating to her brother.

Sergeant James O'Sullivan, presenting the prosecution for the DPP, said his instruction "at the moment" was to pursue the charge before the court.

Sergeant O'Sullivan said that if he received other instructions he would alert the court.

Judge Catherine Staines adjourned the prosecution to April 6 next for a hearing.

Judge Staines made it clear that while it had been reported that Ms Tanase had been remanded in custody, the fact was that she had been granted bail and refused to sign the bail bond and ended up in custody.

The judge said she also refused legal aid on three occasions.

"Effectively she refused to recognise the court," said the judge.

Mr Floricel said at the weekend that he had been subjected to "degrading" comments on social media as a result of his arrest and also felt sorry for his solicitor who had been abused in the street on his way to the garda station.

Mr Floricel, who has been living in Ireland since he was 16, also stressed that he felt "terrible" for what the Murphy family were going through.

The gardai assisted him with safe accommodation in a hotel following his release.

Mr Farrelly said he believed Mr Floricel's life had been ruined by the reaction on social media.

Ms Tanase was not in court today and is understood to be at home with her family.

Ashling Murphy was killed at Cappincur, Tullamore on the bank of the Grand Canal on Wednesday afternoon, January 12.

One man was arrested yesterday and is being questioned by gardai in Tullamore, who suspect he committed the murder, while another man was arrested in the east of the country today.

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