A jury in the trial of a man accused of murdering a woman in Cork over forty years ago has heard advances in forensic science will form part of the prosecution’s case.
74-year-old Noel Long, of Maulbawn, Passage West, County Cork, was charged with Nora Sheehan’s murder after her case was re-examined by the Garda Serious Crime Review.
Almost one week after she went missing in June 1981, Nora Sheehan’s naked and bruised body was discovered by two forestry workers, some 26km from where she was last seen.
Prosecuting barrister, Brendan Grehan SC, told the jury he couldn’t say precisely how she died, but he said she met her death by means of foul play.
He said her body was dumped away from the road in dense foliage in a local woodland.
She was 54-years-old at the time of her death.
A few days later, on June 16th, 1981, Noel Long - then 32-years-old - was stopped while driving his Opel Kadett.
At the time, he lived in Bishopstown, near Ms Sheehan.
DNA samples were taken from the car.
Samples were also taken from Ms Sheehan during her post-mortem examination.
In 2008, some 27 years later, it was decided to send the preserved samples to a specialist lab in the UK that had the capability to analyse small samples.
Today, the jury was told they will hear evidence that in November 2021, a sample taken from the accused matched a sample recovered from Ms Sheehan’s body.
It is the prosecution’s case that he had sex with her shortly before her death.
When all the evidence is called, Mr Grehan claimed the “irresistible conclusion” would be that Mr Long was responsible for her death.
Mr Long denies the murder charge.