A 35-year-old man has appeared at a special sitting of the District Court in Portlaoise charged with falsely imprisoning an 11-year-old girl on a roadside in Co Laois on Wednesday.

Michael Martin, with an address at Shandon Court, Lower Yellow Road, Waterford City, was arrested by gardaí in Portlaoise at 12.20pm today and charged with falsely imprisoning the girl at Oldtown, Cullahill on 4 March.  

The court was told that when the charge was read to Mr Martin he denied it.  

Gardaí objected to an application for bail on his behalf after listening to evidence from gardaí and Mr Martin who went into the witness box.  

Judge Catherine Staines said this was one of the most serious charges ever to come before the court and she refused the bail application.  

Judge Staines made an order that a psychiatric assessment be carried out on Mr Martin and remanded him in custody to Cloverhill Prison to appear again before a court sitting there on 13 March.