Saturday 22 October 2016

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy's entitled to her opinion, but her comments were not appropriate

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy
State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy

I WAS taken aback by the comments made by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy on the outcome of the Graham Dwyer case.

Dwyer was convicted after one of the longest criminal trials I can remember, on foot of a huge amount of evidence.

The jury's verdict was unanimous and largely based on circumstantial evidence.

Speaking to medical students in Limerick last week, Prof Cassidy stated that she believed, on foot of a lack of pathological evidence in the case, that Dwyer would be cleared of murder.

"We knew there was no pathology evidence to support anything so it came to what other evidence did they have," she stated.


"I thought: 'No, they will not go ahead with it...' Then, when we were waiting for the verdict coming in, I said, it has to be not guilty."

Personally I don't think Prof Cassidy's remarks were appropriate at this time, as Graham Dwyer is currently appealing his conviction.

While Dwyer can only appeal on basis of the evidence heard at trial, there's no doubt that his advocates will be heartened by his comments.

Likewise I am sure these comments surprised many people on the State's side.

In fact, I can't recall such forthright commentary on the part of a State Pathologist in the past.

As a former murder detective and having closely followed the trial evidence I am convinced that Graham Dwyer was rightly convicted on the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, which outweighed the lack of pathological evidence.

To that end I do not believe that he will succeed in his appeal.

The bottom line is that this man deserves to spend many more years behind bars.

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