A 46-year-old man appeared in court this afternoon (Sunday) charged with the murder of his wife.

James Kilroy, with an address at Kilbree Lower, Westport, Co. Mayo, was brought before Judge Fiona Lydon at a special sitting of Castlebar District Court.

He has been in custody in connection with the death of his wife, Valerie French Kilroy, a 41-year-old mother of three.

The accused showed no emotion during the brief five minute hearing.

Detective Sergeant Michael Doherty, told today's hearing he arrested the accused at 11.45 this morning and at 12.45 he charged him with murder.

In reply to the charge, after caution, Det Sgt Doherty outlined, the accused made no reply.

Garda Inspector Denis Harrington applied for a remand in custody to Harristown (Castlerea Prison) court on Friday next (June 21).

Gary Mulchrone, solicitor, said there were serious concerns about the mental health of the accused, concerns that had become apparent since his detention.

Mr. Mulchrone said his client was in immediate need of medical attention and a psychiatric evaluation.

Remanding the accused in custody, Judge Lydon recommended the medical attention sought by Mr. Mulchrone as well as an independent pyschiatric assessment in due course.

Free legal aid was also granted on the application of Mr. Mulchrone.

A small group of relatives, as well as Reverend Val Rogers, Westport based Church of Ireland Rector, were in court for the brief hearing.

Rev Rogers spoke briefly to the accused before he was led away by detectives following the hearing.

Kilroy stared forward impassively during the entire proceedings.

He was dressed entirely in dark clothes which included a black hoodie type garment.

The murder victim sustained fatal wounds in the attack.

Her three children were in the house at the time but were unharmed.

Arrangements have yet to be finalised for the funeral of Ms. Kilroy, a popular HSE employee.

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