Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story

by Jack Kiernan

Available in print (paperback) and e-book editions
Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story by Jack Kiernan
Why Did They Lie?
The Joseph Heffernan Story
by Jack Kiernan

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On 4 January 1910, Joseph Heffernan was executed in Kilmainham Gaol for the murder of Mary Walker in Mullingar the previous year. It was a crime that shook the nation and, growing up in the town, Jack Kiernan had often heard local people talk about, even many years later. He was also aware of claims that the wrong person had been convicted of the crime: that Heffernan had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time and that an innocent man hanged as a result.

When the story re-surfaced in the local press, around the 100th anniversary, he decided to investigate the case himself – as much to satisfy his own curiosity as anything else. What he uncovered raised a lot more questions than answers.

When Jack Kiernan decided to look through the statements and court transcripts from the trial, he discovered a number of strange inconsistencies and anomalies that led him to believe that the verdict that was reached was flawed. In Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story, the author unpicks the evidence that sent a man to his death, speculating on whether his conviction was the result of a sinister plot to disguise the identity of the real murderer. He carefully retraces the events preceding the tragic and brutal murder of Mary Walker, suggesting a shocking alternative scenario.

This edition has been revised and updated with new material that has come to light since the original publication in 2011.


Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story by Jack Kiernan.
Non-fiction, true crime, history, Irish history. 198 pages with illustrations.
First published in Ireland in 2011. This revised and updated edition is published by The Manuscript Publisher, 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-9576729-0-1

Is It Me? The Joseph Heffernan Story by Jack Kiernan


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Reviews for Why Did They Lie?

"A cold case that will intrigue and excite." – The Irish Mail on Sunday

"Every now and then a book comes along, on a topic you have never heard of, but turns out to be a riveting page-turner. This week, I read a marvellous new work of Irish social and criminal history, as Jack Kiernan investigates a forgotten miscarriage of justice. Just over a century ago, Mullingar man Joseph Heffernan was hanged for the murder of Mary Walker. Kiernan has meticulously gone through the police investigation, witness statements and the court case and has found major flaws in the investigation. By the end, the reader is left in no doubt that beautiful young Mary Walker was the victim of a heinous crime, but that crime claimed another life the day Joe Heffernan fell to the hangman's rope." – Joe Duffy, writer and broadcaster

Is It Me? would make a brilliant true crime movie. I love reading true crime stories and I thoroughly enjoyed Is It Me? You should approach the Cold Case film makers: this story would make a powerful television documentary. Well done Jack. – Brush Shiels, legendary rock guitarist

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