Investigation into 1971 murder of civil servant Una Lynskey reopened

Investigation into 1971 murder of civil servant Una Lynskey reopened

A REVIEW has been ordered of the investigations into two murders which took place in Co. Meath in 1971.

Una Lynskey went missing on October 12, 1971, after leaving work at the Office of the Land Commission, in Dublin’s Upper Merrion St and boarding the bus home to Ratoath with her cousin.

The 19-year-old got off the bus close to the junction of the Fairyhouse Road and Porterstown Lane and was never seen again.

Her body was found on December 19, 1971, in Glendoo, close to Glencullen in the Dublin mountains.

Prior to that discovery, Martin Kerrigan, Dick Donnelly and Martin Conmey were all interviewed by gardai in relation to the missing person’s case.

All were released without charge, at that time.

On December 19, Martin Kerrigan was abducted in Ratoath and forcibly put into a car.

In the early hours of the following day, the 20-year-old’s body was found at Tibradden in Dublin’s Rathfarnham, close to where Una Lynskey’s body was recovered.

John Lynskey, James Lynskey and John Gaughan were subsequently convicted of Martin Kerrigan’s manslaughter and each sentenced to three years in prison.

Una Lynskey was murdered in 1971

On March 5, 1972, Martin Conmey and Dick Donnelly were charged with Una Lynskey’s murder.

Both were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to three years in jail.

Dick Donnelly went on to appeal this conviction and was found not guilty.

Martin Conmey served his three-year sentence but in November 2010 his conviction for manslaughter was successfully appealed.

In 2014, the Court of Appeal ruled Mr Conmey’s conviction for manslaughter as a miscarriage of Justice and he has since received a state apology.

Today it was announced that the Garda Commissioner has now directed that the Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT) carry out a ‘full review’ of the investigation into the Murders of Una Lynskey and Martin Kerrigan.

Detective Superintendent McTiernan has been appointed as the Reviewing Officer and the SCRT will assist the local investigation team in the review.

A Senior Investigating Officer from Meath Garda Division has also been appointed to oversee the local investigation team.

“The Garda investigation into the murder of Una Lynskey remains an open investigation,” the force confirmed today.

“The future course of the investigation will be determined by the findings of the Serious Crime Review.”

Det Supt McTiernan has already met with the families of Una Lynskey, Martin Kerrigan, Dick Donnelly and Martin Conmey, it was confirmed today.

"The murder of Una Lynskey on the October 12, 1971 and the subsequent murder of Martin Kerrigan on the December 19, 1971 has devastated the Lynskey, Kerrigan, Donnelly and Conmey families,” Det Supt McTiernan said.

“Both murders still have an impact on the community in Ratoath.”

He added: “Una Lynskey was 19 years old and was the fifth eldest of a family of twelve.

“Martin Kerrigan was 20 years old and was the second youngest of a family of six.

“The family of Una Lynskey are seeking clarity on matters relevant to the murder of their sibling 52 years ago.”

He explained: “The subsequent prosecutions taken against Dick Donnelly and Martin Conmey have had a significant impact on them and their families.

“Martin Conmey and the families of Dick Donnelly and Martin Kerrigan have questions as to the Garda investigations that took place in 1971.

“I as the Reviewing Officer have been appointed to carry out a ‘Full Review’ of the investigation into the murder of Una Lynskey and Martin Kerrigan.

“A ‘Full Review’ involves the independent examination of all material gathered in the course of all relevant current and past investigation.

“My intent is that this ‘Full Review’ will hopefully answer all questions highlighted by the Lynskey, Kerrigan, Donnelly and Conmey families and bring the events at the end of 1971 to some conclusion for all those involved.”

Det Supt McTiernan has urged anyone with information relating to either murder to come forward.

"I would urge any person or persons with information in relation to the Murder of Una Lynskey and Martin Kerrigan to please come forward to either the investigation team at Ashbourne Garda Station at 01 8010600, your local Garda Station or the Garda Confidential telephone line 1800 666 111,” he said.

"I appeal to any person who have information on these murders not to assume we know and/or that it has limited value.  Let us make that decision.”