Even the defence counsel at James Kelly’s trial said his client “had the mind of a beast.” On July 12th, 1961, Kelly had gone to the cottage of a 60-year-old widow, Mrs. Kate Connelly, in the tiny hamlet of Tooreen, County Galway, stripped her, raped her and then beat her to death.

Kelly was quickly suspected, for he was known as the village troublemaker. On MAY 24th, 1962, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged. He was reprieved six days before the execution date and sent to prison for life.