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Harry Gleeson granted Ireland's first posthumous pardon, 74 years after his execution

He was hanged in 1941 after being convicted of murdering Mary McCarthy.

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins has today signed the first posthumous pardon in the history of the State, exonerating Harry Gleeson.

Gleeson was executed in 1941 after being convicted of the murder of Mary McCarthy.

His case had been taken up by the Irish Innocence Project following requests from his nearest living relatives.

Earlier this year, an American pathologist helped prove Mary McCarthy’s time of death coincided with a time that Gleeson had an alibi for.

He was granted this pardon in April after the re-examination of a large amount of information relating to his case. However, it was not officially signed until today.

Some of these inconsistencies include the time of death, a fair trial not being afforded to Gleeson, the non-disclosure of evidence by Gardaí at the time, and inconsistencies relating to medical evidence at the time.

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald announced the decision to grant the pardon under Article 13.6 of the Constitution in April this year.

And today, President Higgins made this official.

The pardon reads:

Now I, Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, on the advice of the Government, pardon the said Harry Gleeson in respect of the said conviction, and wholly remit the sentence imposed as if he had not been so charged or convicted.

Contains reporting by Michael Sheils McNamee

Read: What happens if you’re imprisoned for a crime you didn’t commit? >

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Nicky Ryan

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