Anne Donnelly holds a photo of her late brother, Marty Kerrigan.

Families call for State inquiry into Lynskey murder investigation as crime review team re-examines case

As Garda Commissioner Drew Harris issues an apology to Martin Conmey who was wrongly accused of the killing of Una Lynskey in Ratoath in 1971, the families of the late Dick Donnelly and late Martin Kerrigan are seeking a State inquiry into the Garda investigation.

All three men have claimed they were subjected to brutal interrogation by some Garda detectives. These allegations have always been strongly denied by the Gardai involved.

In advance of an RTÉ One documentary to be broadcast tonight (Monday), the Garda Commissioner has written to a man wrongly accused of the killing of a 19-year-old woman in 1971 to offer an unreserved apology.

Martin Conmey, one of three local men accused of killing Una Lynskey near Ratoath, Co Meath, spent decades fighting for his conviction to be overturned.

However, the families of two other men wrongly accused of the killing - Donnelly and Kerrigan - have yet to receive a State or Garda apology.

In 2014, the Court of Criminal Appeal declared a Miscarriage of Justice in Martin Conmey’s case and strongly criticised the conduct of the original investigation.

The disappearance of Una Lynskey features in a landmark new RTÉ One documentary series, 'Crimes and Confessions'.

In recent days, this has prompted a written apology from the current Garda Commissioner to Mr Conmey in relation to the case. In it, he apologises unreservedly for the pain and loss experienced by Mr Conmey.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that the Garda Serious Crime Review team is to re-examine the investigation into the Lynskey case. This may in turn lead to a further apology from An Garda Siochána to the Kerrigan and Donnelly families.

Martin Conmey’s claims about the failings in the case - and similarities with others in the forthcoming series - are backed up by Ann Donnelly, widow of one of the other co-accused, Dick Donnelly. Her late husband’s manslaughter conviction was overturned on appeal.

Her brother Martin Kerrigan had signed a statement confessing to the crime, but never stood trial after he was abducted and killed by Una Lynskey’s brothers Sean and James Lynskey and cousin John Gaughan. They were ultimately found guilty of his manslaughter.

In Episode One of Crimes and Confessions, Ann Donnelly calls on An Garda Siochána to publicly apologise to her family for what she says are clear failings in the original investigation.

Her family have always maintained that both Dick and Marty Kerrigan were innocent, and were subjected to brutal interrogation by detectives. In 2014, the Court of Criminal Appeal strongly criticised the conduct of the Garda investigation in the case.

Ann Donnelly is now also seeking a full State inquiry into the conduct of the investigation.