Sunday 20 May 2018

Catherine Nevin: Murderer had a lust for men, a fearful temper and a taste for fashion

Catherine Nevin case
Catherine Nevin case

Clodagh Sheehy

Catherine Nevin's entanglement with the law began long before her conviction for the murder of her husband.

Her close friendships with respected judge Donnacha O Buachalla and Gda Insp Tom Kennedy had set tongues wagging.

Another man, Bill McClean, who admitted having an 18-month relationship with Nevin, testified that he had been in bed with her one day when her husband, Tom, walked into the room and asked her if she could tell him where she had left some keys.

People in Brittas Bay disliked the contempt she showed for her 'gentle giant' husband and her short skirts, low tops, high heels and flashy jewellery.

The same community was less than impressed by the grief-stricken widow clutching a red rose at her husband's graveside.

Former pub staff said she was a woman with a fearful temper and an insatiable lust for men.

During her trial - the longest murder trial in the history of the State - she dressed to impress with coiffured hair, manicured nails, smart clothes and matching accessories.

It drew so much comment that the judge ordered a ban on media reporting of her clothes and appearance.

Ms Justice Mella Carroll said Nevin was "entitled to wear to court what she wants without it being dissected". Even when she was finally jailed, she was never far from the headlines.

Stories emerged of her having her hair dyed in the Dochas Centre salon and how she continued to buy smart outfits.

She was always immaculately turned out during many court appearances over the years as she tried to appeal against her sentence and stop her assets being taken away from her.

She used her beauty skills to give makeovers to inmates and got a job in the prison library where she spent long hours.

Nevin liked to play chess and help the chaplain in church. She got involved in any play being staged.

She was housed in one of the most sought-after areas of the prison, Rowan House, a section for long-term prisoners.

In 2015, she was granted temporary release to attend a course on addiction counselling in Inchicore.

She continued to receive dozens of letters from fans and sympathisers.

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