The Dublin gangster convicted 17 years ago of the 1996 murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, Brian Meehan, had his application to have his conviction declared a miscarriage of justice rejected on Monday.
Ireland’s three judge Court of Criminal Appeal rejected Meehan’s application at a hearing this morning at the Criminal Courts of Justice.
It said the arguments made by Meehan ‘amount to an abuse of process’.
A previous appeal by Meehan against his conviction was also rejected. Sunday Independent reporter Veronica Guerin was shot dead in her car while she was waiting at traffic lights on the Naas Road in June 1996.
A 1999 trial at the Special Criminal Court jailed Meehan for life after it found that Meehan drove the motorbike that pulled up beside Guerin’s car before a passenger on the bike fired six shots into the car.
It relied heavily on testimony from his accomplice Russell Warren who was subsequently entered into an Irish witness protection programme.
A witness in Meehan’s trial, Marion Finnegan, gave evidence she had seen a man in a green jacket outside the Naas Courthouse on the day of the murder speaking on a mobile phone. The prosecution in the case stated that this placed Warren at the courthouse and corroborated his evidence given in the trial.
For the court Justice George Birmingham said of Meehan’s lawyers’ arguments: “It is abundantly clear that all of the material on which Mr. Meehan is seeking to rely was available, at the latest, from the time of the Gilligan trial in 2001 and the arguments which he now presents to this Court has been formulated in detail by 2003,” said.
“To formulate grounds and arguments, not proceed with them and then seek to resurrect the same grounds and arguments four and a half years on as new facts or newly discovered facts is quite unacceptable and indeed, in the view of the Court, amounts to an abuse of process.”
Veronica Guerin’s brother Jimmy said it was a ‘great result’: “I think that that’s the end of it now, we’ll have no more cases.
“It’s a great result for the guards and a great result for us.
“I don’t think I’ll be laying eyes on (Meehan) again and he’s gone back now to where he should be and I’m happy with that.
“I think that he will serve a life sentence and I hope that’s what happens.”