Judges to make 'every effort' to conclude Conmey appeal

“Every effort” will be made by the Court of Criminal Appeal to “fix a date” this month for final arguments to be made in the case of a Meath man who is attempting to quash his 40-year-old conviction for the manslaughter of Una Lynskey.

Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman today said the three-judge appeal court would “endeavour very seriously” to “organise a date” for submissions to be made, before the end of the current legal term.

Martin Conmey (aged 59) of Porterstown Lane, Co Meath claims “newly discovered facts” will prove he was not responsible for the death of Ms Lynskey (aged 19) in 1971.

His application, brought under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993, is part of his bid to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice

In 1972, he and another man, Dick Donnelly, were convicted of her manslaughter. A year later, both men appealed and Donnelly’s conviction was overturned, but Martin Comney served three years in prison for the offence.

A third man, Martin Kerrigan, was also suspected of having been involved in the crime, but he was abducted and killed a short time after the body of Ms Lynskey was discovered.

During six days of hearing earlier this year, lawyers for Mr Conmey argued that “newly discovered facts” in their client’s case, include the existence of “earlier” contradictory statements from key witnesses and a previously unknown allegation of violence and “oppression” by investigating Gardaí against one of these.

Una Lynskey vanished while returning home from work on the evening of October 12, 1971.

Her body was discovered in December of that year in a ditch in a remote part of the Dublin Mountains. A post mortem examination on the civil servant’s body failed to reveal how she died.

Today, Mr Michael O’Higgins SC, for Mr Conmey, told the court he “didn’t expect” the submissions to be “long” as the issues raised in the case had been “clearly identified” at earlier hearings.

An estimation of “half a day” was proposed by Mr Justice Hardiman who said he would consult with the other judges involved in the case in an effort to have submissions heard by the end of July.

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