On The Run | 

Revealed: The seven NI prisoners at large, with one missing for 21 years

Brendan McGuinness has been ‘Unlawfully At Large’ for a staggering 21 years

Steven MooreSunday World

James Meehan is one of seven prisoners who are listed as being ‘Unlawfully At Large’ (UAL), according to the Department of Justice.

The longest serving inmate to fail to return to prison is Brendan McGuinness who has been UAL for a staggering 21 years.

He was just 19-years-old when he failed to return to HMP Hydebank Wood having been granted pre-release for drug offences according to the DOJ’s website.

Emmanuel Henry

The newest UAL prisoner is Belfast thug Emmanuel Henry who failed to return to HMP Magilligan on December 22 after being granted unaccompanied release.

Henry once appeared on the front page of the Sunday World after beating his ex-partner with a flick-stick during a shocking incident.

He was jailed in 2017 for eight years after he broke into a house in South Belfast in 2015 and when confronted by the occupant, he smashed a vodka bottle over the man's head then stabbed him repeatedly in the arm and chest with the broken bottle.

A court heard Henry, who’s 30-years-old now, had given himself PTSD because of the stabbing.

Despite offering the injured man help after he stabbed him by showing him how to stem the blood with a duvet, Henry held a knife to his throat and demanded he hand over money and his mobile. During the incident, Henry also told the man "sorry mate, wrong house."

Henry, from Eliza Street Terrace, in the Markets area of the city, apparently had flashbacks and nightmares following the incident and was later diagnosed with elements of PTSD.

In April 2021 we revealed how prison bosses foiled a drugs racket inside Magilligan in which Henry was suspected of being involved in which saw him being kicked out of the Foyleview wing where prisoners are granted greater freedoms.

Recently Henry had regained the trust of prison bosses after a number of successful pre-releases where he did return as expected.

But it seems just three days before Christmas he failed to return back to Magilligan in Co Derry.

The DOJ have asked for anyone with information on the missing thug to contact them or Crimestoppers.

They list his offences as being: “robbery, burglary, possession of a class B controlled drug, inflicting Grievous Bodily Harm and assault on police.”

And they say he’s 1.79m tall, has blue eyes and has a scar on his left cheek and nose and a Celtic tattoo on his back.

Elijah Martin Gavin has been unlawfully at large since April 2022

The other prisoners who are listed as UAL are 26-year-old Elijah Martin Gavin who’s offences include driving convictions, fraud, burglary, criminal damage, grievous bodily harm, and possession of a class B controlled drug.

He went missing last April from HMP Magilligan as did 42-year-old Patrick McCarthy who failed to return after being granted compassionate leave in August 2020.

His list of crimes includes assault, dangerous driving, theft and burglary.

Frank Shanley went missing from HMP Maghaberry in 2006 according to the Prison Service and the thief, who would be 46-years-old now and is still being looked for by the authorities.

Thomas O’Brien

The seventh prisoner listed as UAL is Co Fermanagh death driver Thomas O’Brien who has been on the run since 2012 after failing to return from temporary release.

O'Brien was convicted in 2009 of causing the death of Paul Flanagan by dangerous driving on the Castlederg Road, Ederney on December 24, 2005.

At the time of the crash, O'Brien, a traveller with an address in a caravan on the Muckross Road, Kesh, had been a disqualified driver.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison after a Crown Court heard how minutes before the fatal crash, O'Brien had been drinking beer from a bottle while driving the car with five passengers.


Today's Headlines

More Irish Crime

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos