CATHERINE Nevin is making a new bid for freedom, though she may have been released from prison by the time her Supreme Court appeal is heard.
The 61-year-old, known as the 'Black Widow', is seeking another appeal of her convic-tion for the murder of her husband, Tom Nevin.
The application to have a new appeal referred to the Supreme Court on a point of "exceptional public importance" is pending before the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Nevin's latest bid for freedom emerged amid the opening of a civil hearing to determine if she can be blocked from inheriting her husband's €1m fortune. High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns refused an application to allow Nevin to attend the opening.
Nevin was sentenced to life in 2000 when she was found guilty of contracting a hitman to kill her husband, who was shot dead with a single bullet at the couple's pub, Jack White's Inn, in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, on St Patrick's weekend in 1996.
The Parole Board will consider her application for release in June.
Patrick Nevin and Margaret Lavelle, the brother and sister of Tom Nevin, want Nevin's murder conviction and the evidence heard at her trial to be admissible in their bid to disinherit her.
Nevin is seeking to delay the hearing, pending her new appeal. It was agreed by the parties that the civil case would not proceed until the criminal matters had been completed.
At a hearing before Justice Kearns, Nevin's solicitor, Anne Fitzgibbons, said she had lodged a new appeal with the Supreme Court on Wednesday, so criminal matters are still pending.
But the judge could find no evidence of this in the legal files and directed that the civil hearing should go ahead today.
Some time later he recalled the legal teams and said he had uncovered the new application to the Supreme Court. Ms Fitzgibbons asked that her client be allowed to attend the hearing, but the judge refused.
Patrick Nevin and Ms Lavelle, both of Co Galway, and the administrators of Tom Nevin's estate argue that it would be illogical if the conviction could not be used in a civil action.
Nevin has sought declarations that she is entitled to the assets, or part of them, by virtue of survivorship and intestacy.