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Thread: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal - The Gardai and the Dublin Monaghan Bombings

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    Default Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal - The Gardai and the Dublin Monaghan Bombings

    Catherine Nevin's Appeal has started today. Since the beginning of her trial, nothing has looked right about this business -


    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/n...on-450998.html

    Originally Posted by cactus flower 2008
    I feel deeply uncomfortable about the way all the women I referred to have experienced our justice system. There are times when emotion appears to overtake reason in the courts system, and the media plays a part in whipping up that emotion. Whether jurors or judges are in reality influenced by the media I cant say - it would be good to hear of first hand experience where this has/hasnt happened. Convictions solely on circumstantial evidence are particularly dodgy in my view.

    I was very unconvinced by Nora Wall's conviction at the time it happened. Evidence included as statement from a "victim" that Nora Wall had held her legs apart, at the bottom of a bed, while the other defendant carried out a rape. This was patently improbable, and almost physically impossible and reeked of fantasy. Nora Wall was subsequently totally cleared and the process by which the conviction obtained was severely criticised.

    The case of the Mulhall family is different, in that the convicted women admitted what they did. It was not disputed that the victim had physically abused their mother. The women have a tragic background and are clearly incapable of presenting mitigating circumstances to any good effect.

    Catherine Nevin, if you remember the trial, was pilloried for looking too good: the evidence as I recall was all circumstantial and much of it bizarre.

    I am not suggesting censorship and would be there with you complaining if the press was hindered from reporting facts, but as a people ( including journalists) I think we have to be enormously wary when "witch hunt" reporting is taking place before and during trials. The judiciary should give the strongest warnings to jurors. I am not sure if we have got our boundaries right.

    Catherine Nevin's ("The Black Widow" ) Appeal opened today - I haven't heard any reports yet..

    First posted by me "elsewhere" Feb 2008 -


    To my shock, I found myself agreeing with a recent piece by John Waters (sorry, no link) in which he pointed out the circumstantial and dubious case against Catherine Nevin. What is it about screaming tabloid headlines and crude nicknames (black widow, scissor sisters etc.) that make me feel that justice is not being done in cases where women have apparently acted violently?

    Today's Irish Times gives a full page to Catherine Nevin's case.

    It points out that -

    There was no forensic evidence
    There were no witnesses
    There was no admission of guilt.

    Her conviction relies on the evidence of three men believed to be police informers.

    Next week Catherine Nevin will seek an order from the DPP to had over their security files. Some of this material concerns the Dublin and Monaghan bombings.

    This woman has served 9 years imprisonment for the murder of her husband.
    Her appeal is in part based on "newly discovered facts which go to the credibility and connections" of these three men, and involve a "serious non disclosure" of Special Branch files by the State that made a fair trial impossible.

    McClean, one of the 3 witnesses, is alleged to have links with the UVF and to have been in Dublin at the time of the bombings. The other two witnesses, Heapes and Jones, were said to be involved with Sinn Fein, but to have been State informers. Jones was a former business partner of Dessie Ellis.

    Both men claimed she had asked them to murder her husband.

    The defence were given Garda documents suggesting that the Nevin's pub, Jack Whites, had connection with the IRA only after the trial.

    I cannot see how a conviction could have been properly secured against this woman.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...258801743.html

    Once the press have the claws in, if you are well groomed you are a whore, if you are sloppy you are a whore.

    In the Catherine Nevin case, an appalling vista emerges in terms of the Garda role.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 23-08-2010 at 03:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin's Case and The Dublin Monaghan Bombings

    http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/n...on-450998.html


    The court heard it was “unrealistic” to say there were two independent witnesses outside of Mr McClean, given the nature of the relationship between Mr Jones and Mr Heapes who were both members of the same local Sinn Féin branch.

    Nevin’s legal team is also seeking depositions in the Barron report of the inquiry into the Dublin Monaghan bombings which they claim identifies Mr McClean as having stayed in the Four Courts Hotel between the 10th of May and the 16th, 1974, and as being the person who made phone calls and sent telegrams to Belfast and London.

    This same man, the inquiry report says, “turned up” as a witness in a Nevin murder trial in 2000.

    Correspondence between former Chief Justice Hamilton in the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the bombings to a legal representative refers to confidential information which lists amongst others “Wilkinson McClean”. Nevin lawyers say this is William McClean.

    Yesterday counsel for the State argued that Gardaí “do not know who Wilkinson is, was or if he ever existed”. Mr O’Connell SC said: “Barron does not put the matter any further, nor do the depositions”.

    Paddy MacEntee SC, who compiled a report in 2007 on the 1974 bombings, was unable, for legal reasons, to publish findings.

    However, after the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dáil that the Government had asked agencies in Ireland and the UK to withdraw claims of privilege, information was ultimately provided to the DPP and Garda material relevant to whether Mr McClean had paramilitary connection was now in the possession of the parties.

    The court heard how the “major impetus” of the investigation into the bombing had “died down” by the end of 1974.

    The court was also told Philip Tobin had sworn an affidavit saying that he was asked to provide Brian Capper, an associate of Mr Heapes with an alibi on the night Tom Nevin was murdered.

    Mr Tobin said that he was unable to do so because he had already told gardaí that Mr Capper was not with him that night.
    Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/nevin-begins-appeal-against-murder-conviction-450998.html#ixzz0iwJtlfcu

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    No takers ? Is there anyone who can help me make sense of this ?

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    You won't make sense of it Cactus, believe me. I spent the trial scratching my head. The whole thing has always had an x-files aura. There is a bigger story but i do not think we will ever know it ... irrespective of how the appeal goes.

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    Why was the man pointed at in the Barron Report (unless I have it wrong?) for association with the Dublin and Monaghan bombings acting as a police informer in the Nevin case ? And why is he associated with Sinn Fein ?

    Why is this woman in jail ?

    And why is everyone ignoring it ?

    Its just not good enough to say "We'll never know". I've heard that said by senior Gardai about Omagh and about Dublin and Monaghan.

    How do they know that we'll never know ?

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    Her team have not been able to get the garda file which may be helpful to her. I agree CF very hard to get to the bottom of this.

    'BLACK Widow' Catherine Nevin's attempt to gain access to a garda file that she claims could help have her murder conviction declared a miscarriage of justice was dealt an early blow yesterday.

    The three judges sitting at the Court of Criminal Appeal ruled a document held by gardai on one of the men she solicited to kill her husband was privileged.

    Her counsel had maintained the document may be evidence that William McClean had "some sort of secret life" as a state informer.

    They argued if one prosecution witness was tainted there was the possibility others could be too as they were connected.

    However, the court ruled that the document contained no information that would advance her attempts to have a miscarriage of justice declared.

    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...e-2107619.html

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    This is very disappointing. She has been in jail for nine years now I think. Why would the Gardai withhold the document ?

    This is a good short summary of the grounds of the appeal.

    http://m.rte.ie/news/2010/0322/nevin.html

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    John Waters wrote an article and a letter to the Irish Times on this: it seems that Nevin's lawyers wanted to call him to give evidence.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...257294564.html

    Report on the pre-Appeal hearing that refers to Water's article

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...257144765.html

    The Irish Times article by John Waters is now sadly Pay per View.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 23-03-2010 at 08:17 AM.

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    The day C. Nevin was convicted I was shocked, not only by the verdict, but by the cheers that ran through the corridors of where I worked when news broke out. The media went after that woman with venom, talking up her alleged sexual life, her looks, her clothes, her body piercings. It was a bloody disgrace.

    I hope the verdict is overturned, but I doubt it. Sadly.
    Other people have a nationality. The Jews and the Irish have a psychosis: Brendan Behan

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    She should never have been convicted, the evidence wasn't there. It was a witch hunt. I believe that it will eventually be overturned, but it will have to go to Europe.

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    McClean who secured her conviction was mentioned in the McEntee Report into collusion in the Dublin and Monaghan bombings. The Barron Report asked why the Fine Gael - Labour Government did not follow up on information that British Intelligence had the name of the bombers.


    McEntee Inquiry
    Following a recommendation from the Joint Committee on Justice, Equality, Defence and Women’s Rights, in its final report on the bombings (March 2004), the Irish Government established a further Commission of Investigation: Dublin and Monaghan Bombings 1974 in May 2005 under Patrick McEntee. The McEntee Enquiry is tasked to investigate the following:
    “1. Why was the Garda investigation into the Dublin and Monaghan bombings wound down in 1974? 2. Why did the Gardaí not follow-up on the following leads?
    (i) Information that a white van with an English registration plate, was parked outside the Department of Posts and Telegraphs on Portland Row and was later seen parked in the deep sea area of the B&I ferry port in Dublin, and the subsequent contact made with a British Army officer on a ferry boat leaving that port.(ii) Information relating to a man, William McClean,[30] who stayed in the Four Courts Hotel between 15 and 17 May 1974, and his contacts with the UVF.(iii) Information concerning a British Army corporal allegedly sighted.”
    The remit of the McEntee Commission was extended on a number of occasions. The report was handed to the Irish government on 12 March 2007.[31] Publication was expected by the end of March 2007[32] On 3 April 2007, the Irish government announced that the Report would be published on 4 April 2007 at 5pm, after distribution to victims and to the families of those who had been killed by the bombs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dublin_...aghan_bombings


    The Gardai were criticised in the Barron Report
    sufficient information to work out who got what document, whether there were other documents dealing with similar matters and how they were assessed by the people to whom they were addressed."[36]
    The Report (2003) by Justice Barron also criticises the Garda investigation into the bombings. He criticised, in addition, the lack of urgency in pursuing the culprits shown by then Labour-Fine Gael party coalition government in Dublin. Barron noted, "The Government of the day showed little interest in the bombings. When information was given to them suggesting the British authorities had intelligence naming the bombers, this was not followed up." Barron went on to note that similar, though not as extensive information, "was given to the Gardaí by the RUC but there are no records of the Gardaí questioning the RUC as to the names of those so interned, or attempting to ascertain the nature of the intelligence which led to their being detained. And the report says there is also no record of Irish Army intelligence seeking further information from their British counterparts".[37] Barron stated that Department of Justice files on the Dublin bombings were "missing in their entirety" and that no records were provided to Barron by the department. The Garda investigation ended prematurely. Barron found, "there was no single reason why the investigation ended".

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    From today's evidence:

    Counsel for Nevin put it to Garda O’Brien that the document on Mr McClean contained a reference to a photograph of him “being with the SDU”.

    However, the court was told this was not evidence that the Special Detective Unit had an extensive file on Mr McClean.

    Detective O’Brien also told the court that a reference to Mr McClean’s home being “under surveillance” was a “very loose term” and that any monitoring may have been done because “he was involved in crime”.

    The court heard Mr McClean had not been a suspect in Mr Nevin’s murder because he had “an iron cast alibi” for the night the man was shot dead at point blank range.

    The three-judge appeals court also heard from Philip Tobin, a former manager of the Dublin nightclub where Brian Capper, an associate of Mr Heapes, worked as security.

    He told the court Mr Brian Capper asked him to provide him with an alibi on the night Tom Nevin was murdered.

    Mr Tobin said that he was unable to do so because he had already told Gardai that Mr Capper was not with him that night.

    Under cross-examination from Mr O’Connell, for the State, Mr Tobin denied he had “kept his powder dry for 12 years” on the matter. He said at the time of Ms Nevin’s trial he was “convinced” the jury had made the “right” decision.

    Yesterday, the court rejected an application from Nevin’s lawyers requiring it to exercise it powers to order the production of documents or to compel witnesses to give evidence.

    Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said both sides had had “ample” time to subpoena “anyone” and rejected suggestions that a “problem of resources” and “an unmanageable number of documents” could prevent the case from moving forward.

    Mr Hugh Hartnett said he wished to bring journalist Niamh O’Connor, author of the 1998 article, before the CCA.

    He said he also wished to call an Assistant Secretary at the office of the Taoiseach, in relation to documents sought in connection to the 1974 Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, and a member of the gardaí.
    Read more: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/garda-file-was-worthless-nevin-hearing-told-451112.html#ixzz0j1OLmR2s

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    Then Assistant Commissioner of the Gardaí, Edmund ('Ned') Garvey was said by Fred Holroyd to have met him and an RUC Officer at Garda headquarters in 1975. Holroyd named Garvey, and another Garda (codenamed, 'the badger'), as being on the "British side". Garvey later denied that the meeting took place. However, Justice Barron found: "The visit by Holroyd to Garda Headquarters unquestionably did take place, notwithstanding former Commissioner Garvey’s inability to recall it".[56] Barron further noted: "On the Northern side, there is conflicting evidence as to how, why and by whom the visit was arranged. Regrettably, Garda investigations have failed to uncover any documentary evidence of the visit, or to identify any of the officers involved in arranging it from the Southern side."[47]
    Edmund Garvey was dismissed by the incoming Fianna Fáil Government on 19 January 1978 without explanation, other than by stating that it no longer had confidence in him as Garda Commissioner.
    More on McClean, and the Garda role -

    Nevin’s legal team is also seeking depositions in the Barron report of the inquiry into the Dublin-Monaghan bombings which they say identified Mr McClean as having stayed in the Four Courts Hotel on May 10th-16th, 1974, and as being the person who made phone calls and sent telegrams to Belfast and London.
    Mr Hartnett said Mr McClean was also identified by a café owner close to the hotel as a person who said in May 1974: “In 24 hours from now, three bombs will go off and you will have something else to worry about.”
    The report had said Garda inquiries to trace the man in the Four Courts Hotel led nowhere until February 2000, when he was a witness in the Nevin trial. Mr McClean was then traced and interviewed informally by a garda.
    Correspondence between former chief justice Mr Justice Liam Hamilton and the Justice for the Forgotten group referred to confidential information in relation to a number of suspects in the bombings and included the name Wilkinson McClean who, it appeared, was the same person as William McClean.
    Patrick MacEntee SC, who compiled a 2007 report on the 1974 bombings was unable, for legal reasons, to publish findings on this issue. However, after former taoiseach Bertie Ahern told the Dáil that the Government had asked agencies in Ireland and Britain to withdraw claims of privilege, information was ultimately provided to the DPP and the Garda and material relevant to whether Mr McClean had paramilitary connections was now in the possession of the parties.
    Mr Hartnett said this was material relevant to Mr McClean’s background and credibility as he had denied during cross examination that he had any paramilitary links.
    30 people were killed in the bombings, and 300 injured, many of them horribly.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...244010252.html

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    So, from Barron, it appears that there was high level Garda contact with a person possibly involved with the Dublin bombings, and that a man apparently involved, William McClean, was their main witness against Catherine Nevin, many years later. There is a Garda file that contains information about whether or not McClean had paramilitary connections ? McClean gave evidence on oath in the Nevin case that he had no such connections.
    But the file will not be allowed to be used as evidence by Catherine Nevin's legal team.

    It seems that it was only when the FG/Lab government ended that the Senior Garda involved was removed.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 20-04-2010 at 06:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Catherine Nevin "The Black Widow"'s Appeal Starts

    Yesterday's proceedings confirm that there is a Garda file on McClean and his "drinking buddies". The evidence given by an officer from Wicklow Garda Station was that the information was low grade. I have problems with the call on this being made by local Garda who presumably are or have been involved with the this matter.

    It may be that the Gardai don't want to compromise informers. McClean may have information highly embarrassing to the Gardai. Would either of these things justify keeping an innocent woman in prison ?
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...266936400.html

    Sgt O’Brien told the three-judge appeal court that a Garda file, known as a “suspect antecedent history form”, on William McClean, was one of “around 25” forms created during the investigation into the murder of Tom Nevin.
    The court heard it contained some “background” information on Mr McClean and his “drinking buddies” but it was not an extensive document and had “no intelligence value”.
    Lawyers for Nevin argue this document represents a “newly discovered fact” and that its existence was only brought to their attention by a newspaper article published eight years after their client was jailed for life.
    It lists Mr McClean’s associates as members of illegal and paramilitary organisations, including the INLA and Provisional IRA. This material was not before the trial judge, a move which the appeal court was told “probably” amounted to “an oversight”.
    Nevin (58) alleges that certain material will assist her in proving her murder conviction is unsafe by undermining the credibility of Mr McClean, Gerry Heapes and John Jones. Their evidence formed “the linchpin” for her being found guilty of murdering her husband at their pub, Jack White’s Inn, in Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, on March 19th, 1996.
    Nevin was also convicted of soliciting all three to kill her husband.
    Hugh Hartnett SC, for Nevin, said the State’s case against his client “depended almost entirely” on these three men and that without them there would be no murder conviction. He argued that if one was “tainted”, it followed that all three could be considered as such.
    The court heard Mr McClean had not been a suspect in Mr Nevin’s murder because he had “an iron-cast alibi” for the night he was shot dead at point-blank range.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 20-04-2010 at 06:15 PM.

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