Tracey Tully, whose 20-year old son had been tipped to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympic Games, is seeking 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.
At the High Court this morning, 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 being 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 barrister, Arthur Griffin BL, instructed by Sinead Nolan of Mark Murphy solicitors, has 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.
Mr Griffin has 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 today, Ms Nolan described the first part of her client’s application as “100pc success”.
Ms Nolan said she felt “confident” the court would ultimately find in Ms Tully’s favour.
Speaking after today’s judgement was delivered online, 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.
“I’m just waiting on Kevin’s daughter and my granddaughter, Kevaeh, who was born shortly after Kevin was murdered, to come over to the house and play all day happily. I believe my Kevin was working with us today, the 26th of September is his birthday and I hoped that ‘the 26th’ would come with some good news.
“Kevin is always with me, 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."
A date for a hearing to make a final decision will be fixed at the end of this week.