State pardons man hanged for murder in 1941

The State has pardoned a man who was hanged 74 years ago for the murder of a woman.

It is the first posthumous pardon in the history of the State.

The Government made the recommendation to the president of posthumous pardon for Harry Gleeson following an independent examination by senior counsel Shane Murphy. Legal rights campaigners and family descendants — whose efforts led to the establishment of the Murphy review — welcomed the move.

Mr Gleeson was convicted in February 1941 for the murder of Mary “Moll” McCarthy, a mother of seven, in Tipperary the previous November and was sentenced to death by hanging on April 23, 1941.

Following a submission from Innocence Project Ireland, which is based at Griffith College in Dublin, and the Justice for Harry Gleeson Group, the attorney general directed that Mr Murphy undertake a review.

Mr Murphy concluded that there were deficiencies in the conviction such as to render it unsafe.

The Department of Justice said in a statement: “The Government deeply regrets that a man was convicted and executed in circumstances now found to be unsafe. All that can be done now by way of remedy is to clear his name of the conviction, which this pardon will do, in the hope that this will be a proper tribute to his memory.

“Equally the Government regrets that this decision leaves unresolved the brutal murder of Ms Mary McCarthy, whose children were deprived of their mother in terrible circumstances. The Government wishes to express its sympathy with both families.”

Mr Gleeson’s grandnephew Kevin Gleeson welcomed the announcement as “tremendous news”, but added that it was also emotional. “

He said: “It’s a day of happiness and sadness because an innocent life was taken but the good name and character of Harry Gleeson is finally restored and the question of his innocence is no longer an issue.”

READ MORE: Cobh prepares to mark 100 years since Lusitania sinking

Read more of today’s news here



More in this Section

Alliance ministers push for councillor pay rise

Cork city car ban to be parked after just 3 weeks

Eoghan Murphy accused of prioritising career ahead of housing crisis

Eoghan Murphy talks the talk but 10,000 wait for a home


Breaking Stories

Gardaí investigating armed robbery at Roscommon bank

Staff at Irish Water regulator enjoy bonus payments of €238,885 in spite of losses more than doubling

Kerry family write to Queen for advice ahead of Windsor wedding day clash

Care order granted for girl, 13, who wanted to kill herself after physical abuse by mother

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

The biggest cancer killer will take your breath away

Hopefully she had an idea...

Power of the press: Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks discuss 'The Post'

More From The Irish Examiner