Two brothers from Co Laois have had their convictions for raping a woman in a hotel bedroom overturned after a prosecution witness claimed on appeal that he had lied at their trial.
Brothers Eamonn and Seamus Flanagan served their three-year sentences after a jury found them guilty of raping the woman at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin in March 2008.
There was strong emotions of embraces and tears among family and friends as it was revealed that Eamonn and Seamus Flanagan’s rape convictions would be overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Back in 2011, the two brothers were sentenced to three years in prison after a jury at the Central Criminal Court found them guilty of raping a woman in a hotel bedroom of the Red Cow Inn.
However at their appeal today, a friend who had been with them that evening gave evidence and revealed that he had lied at their trial when called by the prosecution.
The brothers friend Daniel Lynch told the court that he had met the brothers near the bedroom where the alleged rape occurred, but he strongly stated today he was drunk and has always had doubts if that meeting ever happened. Mr Lynch claimed that he was too scared to own up to those doubts before because he was bullied by gardaí when giving a statement, claims that the gardaí have since strongly denied.
A short time later the court came to the conclusion that the brothers’ convictions were unsafe due to lack of sufficient evidence. Although its is believed that the court will give their full reasons for that decision later.