The Supreme Court has ruled that Catherine Nevin's conviction for murdering her husband, can be relied on by his family in their attempt to make sure her estate does not benefit from his.

The court dismissed an appeal on behalf of the executors of Ms Nevin's estate against a Court of Appeal decision that the conviction was admissible as proof of her guilt for the murder of her husband, Tom.

Lawyers for Ms Nevin's estate had argued that her conviction did not amount to proof of her guilt and was proof only that she had been found guilty.

A full hearing of the proceedings to disinherit Ms Nevin's estate will take place at a later date. 

Ms Nevin died a year ago in a hospice after being given compassionate temporary release from her life sentence.

Giving the court's decision, Ms Justice Iseult O'Malley, said the judgment was concerned only with the situation that arises when a defendant, whose conviction is proposed to be proved, maintains their innocence of the crime.

She said an admission of guilt was always admissible as an admission against interest in an estate.

In this case, she said evidence of the conviction was in principle admissible. She said the record of the conviction was a public document, admissible to prove the fact of the conviction.

She said while the fact of the conviction might be seen as simply evidence of the opinion of the jury, she said it was an opinion that carried far greater weight than that of a witness in a hearing.

On the other hand, its relevance may be open to dispute depending on the facts of the individual case.

Catherine Nevin was convicted in 2000 of her husband's murder after a 42 day trial in the Central criminal court.

Mr Nevin was murdered in 1996, at the couple's pub Jack White's in Brittas County Wicklow.  He died intestate and the couple had no children.

Mr Nevin's mother, Nora initiated proceedings in November 1997 to have Catherine Nevin disinherited.  The pub was sold in 1997 for 620,000 Irish pounds. 

The case was taken over by Tom Nevin's brother and sister, Patrick Nevin and Margaret Lavelle in 1999.