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Siblings of Catherine Nevin’s murdered husband say she should not inherit any of his estate

TWO siblings of late publican Tom Nevin say his widow and murderer Catherine Nevin should not inherit any of his estate, the High Court heard today.

Patrick Nevin and Margaret Lavelle, brother and sister of Mr Nevin, want the court to rule that evidence at Mrs Nevin's trial is admissable as part of their civil action seeking to disherit her as well as for his wrongful death.

Mrs Nevin (61), who has always denied she had any involvement in the murder, disputes their claim.

In 2000, she was convicted of murdering him at their pub, Jack White's Inn near Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, on March 19, 1996.

She was jailed for life on that charge and also received a seven year sentence for soliciting three men to kill her husband in 1989 and 1990, six years before the murder.

Her appeal against conviction was dismissed in 2003 while another bid to have her case declared a miscarriage of justice was also rejected.

An application to have her appeal referred to the Supreme Court on a point of public importance is pending before the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA).

Today, the High Court heard Mrs Nevin swore an affidavit in the Dochas women's prison where she is still serving her sentence in which she asserts she is a beneficiary from her husband's estate.

She again said she had "no hand, act or part" in either her husband's murder or in soliciting others to kill him.

She said given that she has a "point of public importance" application pending before the CAA, this should take precedence over any civil matter. The outcome of her case may obviate the need for any civil proceedings, she said.

She also said many years have passed since her conviction.

George Brady SC, for Patrick Nevin and Mrs Lavelle, said in opening their case today, that the only reason there has been such a long period since her conviction was that his side had given undertakings not to bring the civil action until the criminal matters were dealt with.

"Every time we go to move, an appeal is brought and that is not good having regard to all the facts," Mr Brady said.

Counsel said while a law had been passed in England disinheriting a person who murders another, no such law had been passed here.

The hearing continues before Mr Justice Roderick Murphy.

The late Mr Nevin's assets included Jack White's pub, which was jointly owned, and sold by his widow in late 1997 for IR £620,000.

Mr Nevin also owned properties at Mayfield Road, Dublin, and Mountshannon Road, Dublin, and he had a policy with Irish Life Assurance for almost IR£78,000. He also had a bank account of about IR£197,000.

In 1997, Mr Nevin's mother, Nora, sought a court declaration that Catherine Nevin was not entitled to any share of Mr Nevin's estate.

After her death, her son Patrick and his sister Margaret continued the proceedings.

In 2007, Patrick, of Loughrea, Galway, and Margaret, of Craughwell, also Galway, obtained a High Court order that around €20,000 from rent on the two Dublin properties held in a credit union account be transferred to them as executors of their brother's estate.