Brian Meehan loses appeal to have murder conviction declared a miscarriage of justice

He was jailed for life for his part in the assassination of Veronica Guerin

Brian Meehan, court, miscarriage of justice, Veronica Guerin, ruling,

Brian Meehan leaving the Four Courts, Dublin in 2006 | Image:

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an application by Brian Meehan to have his conviction for Veronica Guerin's murder declared a miscarriage of justice.

He was jailed for life after the Special Criminal Court believed him to be the driver of a motorbike carrying the gunman who killed her in June 1996.

The 47-year-old, who is from Crumlin in Dublin, claimed "new or newly-discovered facts" emerged during the subsequent acquittal of John Gilligan.

What one woman saw on the steps of another courthouse, in Naas 20 years ago formed the main plank of Meehan's appeal.

This woman gave evidence of a man, who fit the description of a member of John Gilligan's gang, hanging around the area on a mobile phone.

The man - Russell Warren - gave evidence against both Brian Meehan in 1999 and John Gilligan in 2001. He is now a protected witness.

It emerged during Gilligan's trial that this woman failed to pick Warren out of an ID parade a few months after the shooting.

Meehan's defence tried to argue that this was a "new or newly discovered fact" because it was not made available to his side during their trial - a claim described by the court today as "disturbing".

In dismissing his application, the presiding judge Mr Justice George Birmingham pointed out that they had access to records showing Russell Warren's participation in an ID parade.

Speaking outside court, Veronica Guerin's brother Jimmy says the appeal was hard on the family - but he hopes he never has to see Brian Meehan again.

While speaking on Newstalk Lunchtime, Mr Guerin says we still need to do more to stop innocent people being killed.