‘In the interests of humanity we’d ask the minister to do the right thing by the Sheehy family’
Ahead of the next court hearing of the transfer application next Thursday, Kevin’s parents Kevin Snr and Tracey Tully as well as family and friends staged the demonstration at Leinster House.
As she pleaded with the Government to halt the transfer of her son’s murderer to a UK prison so he can be closer to his family, Tracey told reporters she believed her son would be training for the Olympics if he wasn’t brutally killed by Logan Jackson in 2019.
“If this murderer wasn’t in the country, I know for sure that my son would be training for the Olympics for his country, I know that for sure,” she said.
“That’s what Kevin’s mind was focused on, training for the Olympics and it would have been for his country.
“What’s being done to his memory… it’s an insult, it’s outrageous.
“I’m hoping that she (Minister McEntee) might reverse or she might listen to me or listen to someone today, that she might give us some….. The suffering, the waiting and waiting, to come up here is so draining.
“It’s never-ending for us.”
Tracey’s local TD, Deputy Willie O’Dea said that he had raised the proposed transfer of Jackson with both the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and Justice Minister, Helen McEntee.
“Basically, we’re calling on the Minister for Justice to reverse her earlier decision to repatriate this guy,” he said.
“In the interests of humanity we’d ask the minister to do the right thing by the Sheehy family.
“There is a lot of support throughout Limerick for the Sheehy family and you can see that from the turnout, which was arranged at very short notice.
“I’ve brought this matter up before the Dail on a number of occasions and I’ve raised it with the Fianna Fail parliamentary party. I’ve also spoken to the Taoiseach personally about it as well as the minister. We’re continuing to fight the good fight.
"The next hearing is on Thursday but we're hoping for a positive decision before that.”
In July Tracey, whose 20-year old son had been tipped to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympic Games before he was murdered in a deliberate hit and run three years ago, won the right to bring a challenge aimed at preventing her son’s killer being transferred to a UK prison.
She had sought a High Court order preventing Coventry criminal Logan Jackson, who is serving a life sentence for the murder, being repatriated to England to serve out the remainder of his sentence near his family.
Ms Justice Siobhán Phelan granted Ms Tully leave to appeal in a judicial review action aimed at challenging a decision by the Minster for Justice Helen McEntee’s to sanction the prison transfer, last March.
The transfer has been put on hold pending the outcome of the action.
Jackson, (31), denied Mr Sheehy’s murder but admitted manslaughter, and was jailed for life in December 2021 after a jury at the Central Criminal Court unanimously rejected his defence of provocation.
The court heard Jackson, of Longford Road, Coventry, attempted to lead gardai “on a merry dance” with a “tapestry of self-serving lies”, and that Mr Sheehy, a five times national champion, was an innocent victim.
Ms Tully said she had not been made aware of Jackson’s transfer request nor had she been immediately informed of the transfer being sanctioned only three months into Jackson’s life sentence.
Ms Tully’s application is being opposed by legal representatives of the minister and Jackson, who is a notice to the proceedings.
Ms Tully’s legal representatives have claimed that if the transfer goes ahead, Ms Tully will not have a say, nor be able to make submissions to the UK authorities should Jackson apply for parole.
They also argued that the transfer now would breach Ms Tully’s rights under the 2017 Victim of Crime Act; that it is unconstitutional; and that it is an “abdication of the Irish State’s responsibility to determine when a person serving a life sentence may be paroled”.
Speaking after the judgement was delivered Ms Tully, said: “I’m very good today, delighted with the news that we got, it’s great.
“I’m overwhelmed, I’m very proud of myself to be honest to get this far, I had no idea what way it was going to go this morning, so I can breathe a little easier now, yes, I’m very happy with the decision.
“The Minister’s decision was made without any consideration to any member of my son’s family, and I just think the way it was handled was very disrespectful to victim’s families, and we have rights.
“I’m very proud of myself today because the day that I heard about the transfer decision I only had a month to try and figure out what was actually happening and to try and to try and stop this, and today now I am very proud.
“Kevin is always with me,” she added. “I feel that I wouldn't be able to do it without him. I feel we are being heard now, I’m very thankful to the judge today."