Progress in Efforts to Exonerate John Twiss

Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project Chairman, Johnnie Roche (centre) presenting the documentation and formal application, for a presidential pardon for John Twiss, to Niall Colgan, Press Officer at the Department of Justice & Equality with Dr. Paul Dillon, UCD who is in the process of writing a book on John Twiss.  Photograph: Janet Murphy
Michael O'Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project Film 21-7-2015
Project archivist / manager, Janet Murphy at work on the collection in the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project. ©Photograph: John Reidy

A long stride in the on-going application for a Presidential Pardon of John Twiss was taken in Dublin last week when documentation about the case was formally handed to Niall Colgan at the Department of Justice & Equality in St Stephen’s Green.

Systematic Procedure Discussed

Making the journey to Dublin by train was Johnnie Roche, chairman of the Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project, accompanied by project archivist / manager, Janet Murphy.

They met with Mr. Colgan of the Crime Investigation Unit, Department of Justice & Equality, in department offices on Friday, June 7th. where discussion about the case and about systematic procedure took place.

Book on John Twiss

Dr. Paul Dillon, Dublin, who is writing a book about John Twiss, also attended to show his support.

A folder of Twiss material was prepared for the meeting, which included a transcript of the Twiss trial, and references to two episodes of the BBC1 documentary, Murder Mystery & My Family.

Modern Investigative Review

Both documentaries are of immense importance to the case for they contain a thorough, modern, investigative review of the Twiss trial and conviction by UK barristers, together with the deliberation of retired Judge, David Radford.

Twiss Family Descendants

The Castleisland based Michael O’Donohoe Memorial Heritage Project members are pursuing the application for a Presidential Pardon on behalf of descendants of the Twiss family.

Regular meetings of the committee have progressed the application considerably and members must now await the outcome of their latest endeavours.

John Twiss in Summary

John Twiss of Ardmona  was hanged in Cork County Jail on February 9th 1895 for the murder, on 21 April 1894, of James Donovan, a caretaker of an evicted farm at Glenlara near Newmarket in County Cork.

Twiss, who resided with his sister Jane in a cottage in Cordal, was widely believed to have been innocent of the murder.

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