A Co Galway man has lost his appeal against his conviction for the rape and murder of a 17-year old-schoolgirl just over eight years ago.

John McDonagh, 33, from The Demesne, Keeraunbeg, Carraroe, was convicted in 2001 of the rape and murder of Siobhán Hynes from Lettermore in Connemara in the early hours of 6 December, 1998.

He was sentenced to life in prison for murder and received a ten-year sentence for the rape. McDonagh also attempted to choke her. 

The victim's body was found dumped on Tismeain beach - a rocky cove near McDonagh's home. The original trial was told she died from compression of the neck and drowning.

John McDonagh pleaded not guilty and has always maintained his innocence. He shook his head today as the Court of Criminal Appeal announced its verdict.

The presiding judge, Mr Justice Hugh Geoghegan, rejected all grounds of appeal put forward by lawyers for McDonagh.

Afterwards, Siobhán Hynes' parents, Aindi and Bríd, said they were relieved that McDonagh would be going back to prison.  

Aindi Ó hEidhin said he thought about his daughter every day. Bríd Uí Eidhin said they would never forget Siobhán.

The schoolgirl had celebrated her 17th birthday just a week before she was killed.