Thursday 23 March 2017

State apologises to man wrongly jailed for killing

Martin Conmey with his wife Anne after yesterday’s apology. Photo: Courtpix
Martin Conmey with his wife Anne after yesterday’s apology. Photo: Courtpix

Tim Healy

The State has apologised "unreservedly" to a man whose conviction for the manslaughter of a young woman more than 40 years ago was certified a miscarriage of justice.

It has also agreed to pay "appropriate compensation" to Martin Conmey.

Mr Conmey was acquitted in 2010 of the manslaughter of civil servant Una Lynskey (19), whose body was discovered in the Dublin Mountains about two months after she was seen getting off a bus near her home at Porterstown Lane, Ratoath.

That acquittal came 38 years after he was jailed for three years. After the Court of Criminal Appeal in 2014 certified the conviction amounted to a miscarriage of justice, Mr Conmey sought compensation.

Mr Conmey (65), from Ratoath, Co Meath, was accompanied by his wife Anne in court yesterday when the apology was read by Shane Murphy SC, for the State, before Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

It said: "The Minister for Justice and Equality, on behalf of the State, wishes to formally acknowledge that Mr Martin Conmey, who was convicted of certain offences in 1973 and served a term of imprisonment in consequence, was a victim of a miscarriage of justice.

"This has been certified by the Court of Criminal Appeal. The State apologises unreservedly to Mr Conmey.

"The State regrets the pain and loss experienced by Mr Conmey as a result of his imprisonment and has taken steps to pay appropriate compensation to him in accordance with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993."

Mr Conmey said afterwards: "I accept and appreciate the State's apology." He thanked his wife Anne and son for standing by him "through all this".

Mr Conmey and Dick Donnelly were convicted of Ms Lynskey's manslaughter in July 1972.

A third man, Martin Kerrigan, who was also suspected of having been involved in Ms Lynskey's death, was abducted and killed by her brothers, Seán and James Lynskey, and her cousin John Gaughan, nine days after her body was discovered.

Mr Donnelly won an appeal against his conviction in 1973 but Mr Conmey's conviction was upheld and he served three years in jail.

Irish Independent

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