Notorious killer Catherine Nevin had nowhere to go when she was first given temporary release from prison and only left when she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Known as the “Black Widow”, the 66-year-old died last February in a north Dublin hospice five months after being taken to hospital upon becoming unwell.
She took with her the secret as to who she hired to murder her husband, Tom Nevin, at their home in Jack White’s Inn, near Brittas Bay, Co Wicklow, in March 1996.
Some gardaí consider a hitman, who was living in the area at the time, to have been a chief suspect, but that individual passed away nine years ago.
The inspector of prisons compiled a report on the circumstances surrounding her death, as mandatory, but Nevin is not named.
Inspector Helen Casey said the 66-year-old woman had been committed to prison on April 11, 2000, on a life sentence.
Following a review by the Parole Board and a subsequent decision by the Minister for Justice, Nevin was scheduled for reviewable temporary release (RTR) in July 2016.
But the report said prison officials could not find any place for Nevin to go to: “Due to issues in securing appropriate accommodation the release did not take place at that time and she remained in prison.”
Ms Casey said that having examined the prison records, (Nevin was in Dochas Women’s Prison), the deceased became ill on September 20, 2016.
Nevin was admitted to the nearby Mater Hospital where she was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
She was there for three days and was given RTR to stay for the purpose of hospital/medical care.
On November 7, Nevin was taken to an acute post care unit while undergoing medical treatment.
She stayed there until August 21, 2017 when she again received RTR for “pre-release/resocialisation”.
“The deceased remained in hospital until December 4, 2017 when she was transferred to a hospice care facility, where she remained until her death on February 10, 2018,” the report said.
Ms Casey said prison records showed that the deceased satisfied the terms of her RTR and that there were “no significant matters” that required further investigation.
She said the cause of death would be a matter for the coroner.
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