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Ex-boyfriend pleads not guilty to Sheola Keaney murder

Published 28/11/2006

The ex-boyfriend of Cobh teenager Sheola Keaney has pleaded not guilty to her murder at the Central Criminal Court in Cork.

Thomas Kennedy of Russell Heights, Cobh, is charged with the 19-year-old's murder at Newtown, Cobh between July 14th and 16th.

On the opening day of the Central Criminal Court in Cork, 21-year old Thomas Kennedy was asked whether he wished to plead guilty or not guilty to the charge of murdering Ms Keaney.

Dressed in a black jumper and jeans, he stood in the box and replied: "Not guilty."

A jury of seven men and five women was sworn in to hear the trial, which is likely to begin this Friday.

The court was told that there are 150 witnesses in this case, which is expected to run up until Christmas.

Sheola Keaney's family watched this morning's short proceedings from the public gallery.

An inquest into the bubbly teen's death heard yesterday that she was strangled to death.

Proceedings were then adjourned due to Kennedy's trial.

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