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20.26 4 Apr 2018


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The President has granted a posthumous pardon to man who was hanged for murder over 130 years ago.

Maolra Seoighe – or Myles Joyce - was tried for the murder of five members of the one family on the Mayo-Galway border in 1882.

He was one of eight men arrested for the infamous Mám Trasna murders – and was one of three to be executed.

Five others were imprisoned – however it later emerged that the convictions were based on false evidence.

President Michael D. Higgins granting a posthumous pardon for Maolra Seoighe - Myles Joyce - in respect of his conviction for the notorious 1882 Mám Trasna murder case, 04-04-2018. Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Before the executions the other two men facing the gallows admitted they were responsible - and insisted Mr Seoighe had no part in the crime.

The confession was not enough to stop the executions and all three were hanged on December 15th 1882.

Of the five jailed men, two died in prison and three were released 20 years later.

The case is seen by many legal experts as one of the largest miscarriages of justice in British & Irish legal history.

The posthumous pardon for Maolra Seoighe - Myles Joyce - in respect of his conviction for the notorious 1882 Mám Trasna murder case, 04-04-2018. Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

This evening President Michael D Higgins signed a warrant granting Mr Seoighe posthumous pardon in respect of his conviction of November 1882 and subsequent execution on 15 December 1882.

The pardon is only the fifth granted since 1937 – and the second granted posthumously.

It is the first granted for a case that was heard under British rule.


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