A 29-year-old woman has gone on trial charged with murdering a man by deliberately driving into the sea at Arklow in Co Wicklow three years ago.

Marta Herda, with an address at Pairc na Sáile in Arklow, denies murdering 31-year-old Csaba Orsas on 26 March 2013.

Prosecuting counsel, Brendan Grehan said the prosecution case was that Ms Herda drove the car in which they were both travelling into the sea at Arklow Harbour, crashing through two barriers.

Mr Grehan told the jurors a key matter they would have to consider is how Mr Orsas came to be a passenger in the car driven by Ms Herda at 6am on 26 March 2013.

He said they would have telephone evidence in relation to this and they would hear from a witness who heard a car coming through Arklow Harbour at speed. 

A short time afterwards, the witness heard distressed screaming, and a woman alleged to be Ms Herda was seen in the harbour area in wet clothes.

Mr Grehan said there were two barriers at the end of the ramp leading into the water at Arklow Harbour to prevent cars entering the water and to protect an ESB box.  

He said the prosecution case would be that the car drove through both barriers and that it had to have been driven at great speed to have ended up in the sea.

He said the driver's window was open when the car was recovered and Ms Herda could swim.   

Mr Grehan said Mr Orsas could not swim and Ms Herda knew this and the jury would also hear what Ms Herda said after she came out of the water.

The jury was told the body of Mr Orsas was recovered from a beach two miles south of Arklow just before 2pm that day.  

A post-mortem examination showed he died of drowning and had no significant marks or injuries.

Mr Orsas, who was originally from Hungary and Ms Herda, who is from Poland, both worked at the Brook Lodge Hotel in Aughrim in Co Wicklow.

Mr Grehan said the prosecution case was that Ms Herda, in a deliberate act, drove through the barriers and into the sea and he told the jury of eight men and four women that a combination of all the circumstances would lead them to be able to conclude that she was guilty of murdering the deceased.