Friday 23 March 2018

The new evidence that could exonerate Harry Gleeson

Q Firearms Register

The firearms register, a log book recording when ammunition was bought, was not produced at Gleeson's trial, despite a request by the trial judge.

The register typically included the date, quantity and type of ammunition sold as well as the name, address and firearm certificate number of the buyer.

It was the prosecution's case that Mary McCarthy was shot with a no 5 shot or cartridge.

The prosecution did not produce the register but relied on a receipt from Feehan's hardware store to prove that Gleeson's uncle, John Caesar, bought cartridges on October 3, 1940 – weeks before Ms McCarthy's death.

However, the firearms register – discovered by the Justice for Harry Gleeson group (JfHG) – shows no record of Gleeson's uncle buying cartridges on October 3, raising doubts about the authenticity of the receipt.

When the firearms register was recovered, it showed that Mr Caesar had bought no 4 cartridges in July 1940, undermining the prosecutions claims that Gleeson killed Ms McCarthy with a no 5 cartridge.

Q Time of death

Ms McCarthy's body temperature was recorded at the scene, four hours after Gleeson reported to gardai, at 96F.

The warmth of the body suggested that the mum of seven had been killed that morning as opposed to the previous evening when the prosecution claimed Gleeson murdered her. A new pathologist's report has been ordered in relation to Ms McCarthy's body temperature.

Q Dying Declaration

Last year, a nurse who worked at a Dublin hospital between 1988 and 1990 signed an affidavit (court statement) recalling a conversation she had with the murdered woman's daughter. In the affidavit, the nurse said Mary McCarthy Jnr told her: "I saw my own mother shot on the kitchen floor and an innocent man died."

Q the Alibi

A DVD recording of a man who lived on the same farm as Harry Gleeson has been handed to the Department of Justice.

According to the JfHG, the recording provides Gleeson with an alibi for the time the prosecution claimed the fatal shots were fired.

Irish Independent

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