Fight for justice  | 

Mum of murdered boxer Kevin Sheehy takes court action over killer's transfer to UK jail

She claims that if the transfer goes ahead, she fears she will not have any say, nor be able to make any submissions to the UK authorities when Jackson applies for parole.

The late Kevin Sheehy

Aodhan O'Faolain

The mother of murdered boxer Kevin Sheehy has launched a High Court action aimed at preventing the transfer of her son's killer to a prison in the UK.

The action has been brought by Tracey Tully, whose 20-year-old son was killed at Hyde Road Limerick on July 1st 2019.

The Irish champion boxer suffered catastrophic and fatal head injuries after being repeatedly struck by a vehicle driven by Logan Jackson of Longford Road, Coventry, England.

Following a trial before the Central Criminal Court last December Jackson was convicted of Mr Sheehy's murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

31-year-old Jackson then applied to the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee for a transfer from Ireland to a prison in the UK where he can serve out his sentence.

Jackson's application was successful.

In judicial review proceedings against the Minister for Justice Ms Tully challenges that decision and seeks an order from the Court quashing the transfer.

She has brought the proceedings because she claims that if the transfer goes ahead, she fears she will not have any say, nor be able to make any submissions to the UK authorities when Jackson applies for parole.

She claims that if the transfer goes ahead any decision on a parole application by her son's killer would be in the hands of the authorities in another jurisdiction.

She claims that the Minister's decision to allow the transfer to go ahead is unconstitutional and an "abdication of the Irish state's responsibility to determine when a person serving a life sentence may be paroled."

In her action she seeks declarations including that the proposed transfer breaches her rights under the 2017 Victim of Crime Act and was made outside of the Minister's powers under the 2019 Parole Act.

She further seeks a declaration that the decision to transfer Jackson is unconstitutional as it removed the jurisdiction for sentencing Jackson from the Irish state and handed it over to another state.

At the High Court on Wednesday afternoon Ms Tully's counsel Arthur Griffin Bl, instructed by Mark Murphy Solicitors said his client is also seeking "a draconian order," namely a stay on the transfer pending the outcome of the High Court action.

Counsel said his client, from Kennedy Park in Limerick, does not know exactly when the transfer is due to occur but believed it could take place very shortly.

Jackson is believed to be serving his sentence in Limerick Prison, the court heard.

Counsel said it is their case that the transfer should be stayed until Ms Tully's action has been heard and determined by the court.

Counsel said that if Jackson remained in an Irish prison, his client would have the right to make submissions in relation to any application made by the prisoner for parole.

If the transfer goes ahead, counsel said his client is unsure what rights she would have regarding any parole application made by Jackson to the British prison authorities.

The case came before Mr Justice Conor Dignam during Wednesday's vacation sitting of the High Court.

The judge agreed that the application was unusual, and that that there was uncertainty over when Jackson's purported transfer is to take place.

The judge said that he was not prepared, on an ex-parte basis, to grant Ms Tully permission to bring her action without first hearing from the Minister's lawyers.

Nor was the court prepared at this stage of the proceedings to make any order preventing the transfer from taking place.

The application for leave to bring the challenge, the judge said, should be heard on notice to the Minister on Thursday afternoon.

The judge also said that Jackson may need to be added as a notice party to the proceedings.

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