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The BBC's Kevin Connolly reports
"It's still not clear who shot Mr Nevin as he counted the pub's takings"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 04:43 GMT 05:43 UK
Wife jailed after marathon trial
Jack White's Inn
There was no evidence of a break-in at the pub
A pub landlady has been convicted of her husband's murder following one of the longest courtroom sagas in the Republic of Ireland's legal history.

Guilty verdicts on charges of murder and soliciting three men to murder were returned against Catherine Nevin in Dublin's Central Criminal Court on Tuesday evening.

The verdicts were returned after the jury of six men and six women had been out for nearly five days - a record in Irish legal history.

Nevin was immediately handed a mandatory life jail term for the murder, but sentencing on the other charges against her were adjourned.

The verdicts were reached unanimously on the murder and on an 11-1 majority on the other counts.

They followed one of Ireland's most sensational and high-profile murder trials.

Catherine Nevin: Sentenced to life for husband's murder
Nevin, 49, pleaded not guilty at the start of the proceedings in February to killing her 54-year-old husband Thomas on St Patrick's Day weekend in 1996.

Mr Nevin was shot dead at Jack White's Inn, the pub he ran with his wife in Ballinapark, County Wexford on the main road between Dublin and Rosslare.

She had also denied three charges of soliciting men, two of them with hardline republican links, to carry out the murder.

In the course of her trial, the court heard of allegations by Nevin that her husband had been a member of the IRA, a homosexual and a drunkard.

'Contract' killing

Evidence had also been heard that the accused woman had affairs before the death of Mr Nevin with a local judge and a senior Irish police officer.

The affairs were denied in court by both the judge and members of Mr Nevin's family refuted suggestions he had ever been in the IRA.

Sentencing Nevin, trial judge Miss Justice Mella Carroll told her: "You had your husband assassinated, and you tried to assassinate his character as well.

"I hope his family will take some consolation from this verdict."

The trial heard prosecution allegations that Nevin bore animosity to her husband and wanted control of their pub.

It was claimed Mr Nevin died in a botched robbery designed to conceal a contract killing carried out at the behest of his wife.

It was said Nevin approached a member of Sinn Fein to see if the IRA would carry out the killing.

The jury heard evidence from 170 witnesses and a three-day address from defence counsel Patrick MacEntee, SC, earlier this week.

The trial originally began in January, but had to be abandoned when it was found discussions among the jury could be heard in the public gallery of the court.

Then a second trial was delayed for some days when Mrs Nevin was taken ill at the Dublin address where she had been staying during the court hearing.

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