A 61-year-old woman has been found guilty of the murder of her husband 23 years ago.

Vera McGrath denied murdering Brian McGrath at their home in Coole in Westmeath in 1987.

The jury of eight men and three women deliberated for more than nine hours in total before finding Mrs McGrath guilty of murder by a majority of ten to one.

Vera McGrath gave no reaction when the verdict was announced. She was given the mandatory life sentence.

Her former son-in-law, Colin Pinder, 47, from Liverpool, was convicted of the manslaughter of Mr McGrath on Friday.

Vera McGrath told gardaí in 1993 that on a night in March or April 1987 she told her daughter, Veronica, and her then fiancé, Colin Pinder, that she wished her husband was dead.

She claimed that Mr Pinder produced a spanner and that he hit her husband outside the family home in Coole.

She admitted hitting her husband herself during the attack and said Mr Pinder repeated that she should hit him.

Vera McGrath described how Mr Pinder hit Mr McGrath with a slash hook. She also described burying his body and then digging it up before breaking it up and burning it.

Her lawyers told the jury that Veronica McGrath, who was the chief prosecution witness, was more involved in the killing than she had admitted in court.

Veronica McGrath said she heard her father beg for mercy during the attack by Mr Pinder and her mother.

She said her mother hit her father with a lump hammer. She said they buried the body then dug it up and burned it.

It is the first murder conviction for the Garda Serious Crime Review Team, which is investigating unsolved cases going back to 1980.

Detective Superintendent Christy Mangan said Mr McGrath's three sons and his daughter wanted justice for their father.

He said justice had been done and Mr McGrath had been remembered in the verdict given down by the jury.