New RTÉ series highlights brutal treatment of innocent men by Garda ‘Heavy Gang’

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A series of gruesome murders in a sleepy County Meath village and the allegations of a Garda ‘heavy gang’ are expected to shock viewers tomorrow night.

na Lynskey was only 19 when she went missing near her home in Ratoath in October 1971 and her body was later found in the mountains of Dublin.

Three young local men, Martin Conmey, Dick Donnelly and Martin (“Marty”) Kerrigan all signed what they claimed to be forced confessions admitting kidnapping and murder, which led to yet another brutal murder.

“It turns out that we were more or less in the area at the same time,” Martin Conmey (70) told Sunday World.

“There was a car seen by several witnesses. A strange car with a middle aged man and we were just kids at the time. They never even bothered to look for this, it was the boring thing. “

Martin suspects that they were targeted while investigating gardaí because they were driving a Zepher car similar to the one reported.

“I was only 20 years old. Marty Kerrigan was only 19 years old. Dick Donnelly was 22 years old. We were just children. I had never set foot in a police station in my life”, remembers Martin.

The trio were brought in for questioning at Trim Garda station on a Monday evening and received no food or rest until their release on Wednesday evening.

“Marty and I signed a confession, but only under duress,” Martin explains. “It was step by step, the guards almost put words in our mouths, leading questions.

“We were severely beaten. My friend Dick, Lord of mercy on him, had a serious blow, with a poker. I saw the wounds on him myself on his back.”

Martin served three years in prison until his case was quashed and declared a miscarriage of justice. He never received an apology from the guard, but received compensation from the state.

Dick Donnelly, who never signed a confession and died last year, was convicted and served several months before an appeal was made in his favor.

But Marty Kerrigan never got justice as he was brutally killed by two of Una Lynskey’s brothers and his cousin.

They were then sentenced to three years in prison for manslaughter.

“When Marty’s life was taken I don’t think they’re going to try to say ‘we’re sorry’, that they took the life of an innocent man. It would be a hard pill for them to swallow.” , emphasizes Martin.

“I knew Una well; a lovely girl, really nice. I knew them all, we used to chat together.

“They obviously believed the guards and were told by the guards. Everything was hopeless, the way it was handled.”

The Lynskey case is one of a trio examined by the RTÉ program, including the infamous Sallins train theft involving Nicky Kelly, and the Kerry Babies case, which centers on Joanne Hayes.

Ann Donnelly was married to Dick Donnelly and was also Marty Kerrigan’s sister. She got to know Dick better because of his connection to his brother during their ordeal and fell in love with him. She believes the trio were targeted only because they had taken the same route that night.

“Later that night, as they were driving back down the road with Martin, there were guards on the road and they stopped to see what was going on,” she said.

“They were told that Una was missing. They went to look for her like everyone else, but because they were on the road and they told the guards that they had seen this other car, but the guards didn’t obviously never believed there was another car and a lot of people saw the other car, not just Marty and Dick. “

She says her family home was supposed to have garda protection because of the threats.

“There was a guard outside our house every day, every night … He went to pick up Marty in Ratoath and asked him where he was going and Marty said he was going to dance in Kilmoon which was a few miles away. further away.

“They pulled over at the cemetery a little further and the guard entered a house and left my brother in the car.

“The Lynskeys and John Gaughan came and got Marty out of the car,” she adds.

Her brother’s death was absolutely horrific.

“He was tortured. He was dead before they tried to castrate him. How they got away with manslaughter and they walked around with a knife.”

Gerry O’Carroll served as the Detective Sergeant of the Guard for over 35 years and for five of them he was with the “Murder Squad”.

“One of the reasons I participated in the program was to deny it and hear it was going to be a bit hostile,” he tells us. Now retired, he says there has been no violence on his part or that of his colleagues.

“I have never seen anyone get beaten, as true as God, I don’t know what they are talking about. The interrogation is hard, hard, hot, I did not spare it. Like I said before, it’s not a snack. But I’ve never lifted a finger or seen anyone do it to anyone. “

Crimes and Confessions, RTÉ ONE Monday 9:35 p.m.

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