Ex-nun Nora Wall settles damages case for miscarriage of justice

In 1999 former Sisters of Mercy nun became first woman convicted of rape in Ireland

Nora Wall (left) leaves the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin with an unidentified friend on  December 1st, 2005 – the day her imprisonment for the rape of a young girl was declared a miscarriage of justice. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

Nora Wall (left) leaves the Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin with an unidentified friend on December 1st, 2005 – the day her imprisonment for the rape of a young girl was declared a miscarriage of justice. Photograph: Julien Behal/PA

 

A six-year legal battle by former nun Nora Wall for damages from the State – after her wrongful conviction for the rape of a young girl was certified a miscarriage of justice – has been settled at the High Court.

While no settlement figure was disclosed, it is understood Ms Wall will receive more than €500,000.

Ms Wall, whose claim included a claim for punitive and exemplary damages, previously rejected an offer of €75,000 as inadequate.

At the High Court on Friday, Luán Ó Braonáin SC, for Ms Wall, instructed by Seán Costello & Company, and Shane Murphy SC, for the Minister for Justice and the State, told High Court Deputy Master Kevin O’Neill the case had settled and could be struck out with costs to Ms Wall. The Deputy Master made those orders.

The compensation proceedings were initiated in 2010.

The cause of action dates back to 1999 after Ms Wall, a former Sisters of Mercy nun known as Sister Dominic, became the first woman to be convicted of rape in Ireland.

Ms Wall was released on bail four days into a life sentence when it emerged a prosecution witness had been called, against the direction of the DPP, to testify at her trial.

That witness later admitted fabricating evidence in which she claimed to have seen Nora Wall holding down the alleged victim during the attack.

In light of those new facts, the Court of Criminal Appeal (CCA) in 2005 declared Ms Wall’s conviction a miscarriage of justice.