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Cold Case

1970s manslaughter conviction of Martin Conmey "miscarriage of justice"

The Co Meath man served three years in prison, but his conviction was quashed in 2010 after new facts came to light.

THE COURT OF Criminal Appeal has ruled that the conviction of a Co Meath man for killing his teenage neighbour more than 40 years ago was a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

Martin Conmey served three years in prison after being convicted of the manslaughter of 19-year-old Una Lynskey, who disappeared in October 1971 near her home at Porterstown Lane in Ratoath.

Her body was later discovered in the Dublin Mountains.

The conviction was quashed in 2010 after newly discovered facts came to light, and Martin Conmey applied again to the appeal court to revisit the case, contending that  “that a newly discovered fact shows there has been a miscarriage of justice”.

In his ruling today, Justice Adrian Hardiman found that Martin Conmey could only have been convicted of the offence on the basis of a finding that he was “part of a joint enterprise” with others.

But he said there was no evidence to support that that was the case.

He said this was because three original statements of parties who testified during the 1972 trial were suppressed by “a person unknown” who was connected with the prosecution.

And he ruled that on such a basis, the original conviction amounted to a miscarriage of justice.

Speaking to reporters after the judgement, Conmey said he had “gone through a very difficult life, being accused of a crime I am completely innocent of”.

It has affected my health and has been difficult to get through most days.

“I am delighted that the decision of the court today has totally cleared my name.”

According to BBC Northern Ireland’s report on the case today, his lawyers plan to apply for compensation as a result of the Court of Criminal Appeal’s finding.

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