Two businessmen cleared of forging man's will
Two businessmen accused of forging a will have been acquitted at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.
Noel Hayes (61) and William O'Leary (51), from New Ross, Co Wexford pleaded not guilty to forging the will of Matthew Hayes on a date between December 1998 and January 1999.
The jury returned the not guilty verdict to Judge Patricia Ryan after nearly two and a half hours deliberation. It was day-nine of the trial.
The prosecution's main witness Charlie O'Leary previously pleaded guilty, received an 18-month suspended sentence, and was ordered to pay €30,000 into an account pending for the next of kin.
Charlie O'Leary spent four days in the witness box and gave evidence to the court that the will was not signed until a week after Matthew Hayes had died.
Noel Hayes told the jury that he was "the meat in the sandwich" in a vendetta by Charlie O'Leary against William.
The court heard that the O'Learys had a "bitter and distrustful" business relationship.