Published Friday, 09 November 2012
Aoife Phelan, 30, who went missing almost two weeks ago. (© An Garda Síochána)
The court heard that Robert Corbet, of Sheffield in Portlaoise, said "no" and shook his head when charged with killing the 30-year-old woman, whose battered body was found in a bin buried in a pit at the back of a property on the outskirts of the Co Laois town on Wednesday.
Ms Phelan had been four months pregnant and went missing a fortnight ago.
Corbet, who knew the victim, was arrested twice this week before being charged.
He was remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison to reappear in court next week.
Floral tributes have been left on Timahoe Road close to where Ms Phelan's body was discovered. She was last seen on Thursday, 25 October at 8.10pm.
Following the court appearance, her family issued a statement through local priest Father Gerard Phelan.
"We are happy to have Aoife back with us, her family," the Phelans said.
"Her death has left us sad and heartbroken. She was a loving daughter and sister and we will miss her dearly.
"We are overwhelmed by the support and the kindness we have received over the past two weeks. We would like to thank all the people who helped in searching for Aoife and who have been there for us, especially family members, neighbours, friends and the Ballyroan community.
"We would like to acknowledge the efforts of An Garda Siochana, who have worked tirelessly to have Aoife returned to us.
"We ask now for privacy as we spend our remaining precious time with Aoife today and attend to her funeral tomorrow."