Mum of murdered boxer Kevin Sheehy left ‘soul-destroyed’ as killer to be sent to UK jail
“We weren’t told anything at all. All we know is that the decision was made on the basis of his human rights.’
Limerick mum Tracey Tully has said she was left “absolutely soul-destroyed” when she heard the man who murdered her son, Kevin Sheehy, is to be transferred back to a UK prison.
Speaking as she prepared to make a statement outside Roxboro Garda station this afternoon, Ms Tully said she was “devastated ” by the decision to allow her son's murderer to be moved from a Limerick prison to the UK so he can be closer to his family.
“I’m absolutely soul destroyed,” she told the Sunday World.
“At 3.30 yesterday I got the phone call to say the decision had already been made by the court.
“We weren’t told anything at all. All we know is that the decision was made on the basis of his human rights."
It has been claimed that Jackson has been living under a death threat and is being held in solitary confinement in Limerick Prison away from the rest of the general prison population.
Tracey said that she had been told he had been on 23-hour lock up since he went into prison, but that this “was at his own request”.
"Basically he was saying he was being threatened,” she said. “Which tarnishes my own family’s name.”
Tracey had long campaigned for Jackson to be detained in an Irish jail for the remainder of his sentence.
Kevin, an Irish champion boxer, died after being repeatedly struck by a vehicle driven by Jackson of Longford Road, Coventry, England.
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.
Following his conviction Jackson successfully applied to the Justice Minister for a transfer from Ireland so he can serve out his sentence in an English prison.
Last year Tracey had been granted permission to legally challenge a decision by the Minister for Justice to sanction Logan's proposed transfer to his native UK.
She had claimed the Minister's decision amounted to a breach of her rights under the 2017 Victims of Crime Act.
Last year, the court was told that the parties had agreed that the case can now be struck out after the Minister for Justice decided to rescind her sanctioning of Jackson's transfer to a British prison.
The court also made an order that legal costs incurred by Tracey, and Jackson be paid by the State.
But speaking on Thursday night, Ms Tully said she had not been notified the Minister was deciding the matter today and had understood it might be dealt with in a number of years.
“I was led to believe that the decision (to keep Jackson in Limerick) was for the foreseeable,” she said.
"But now it looks like the only thing we won was on the legal fees. I can only try and do my best now to raise awareness and keep up the fight.”
Earlier Tracey said she was left “shocked and traumatised” by the decision.
“I can’t believe it, this is a nightmare, I feel sick, and I’m disgusted at the way the criminal justice system has treated me and my family."
She added that she would “continue to investigate” all legal avenues in trying to prevent Jackson’s prison transfer.
“I need answers, the real answers. As Kevin’s mother, I've every right, every right to these answers.”
“I was not notified. This is like the day my son was murdered, all over again, I’m heartbroken” Ms Tully said.
She said questions remain over the Minister's initial decision to transfer Jackson so early in his sentence.
Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, who supported Ms Tully’s challenge to the prison transfer described the Minister’s decision as “absolutely disgraceful”.
“It’s a despicable decision by the Government. First of all, they wanted to transfer (Jackson) immediately without any consultation with the family, they were forced by the courts to get the family’s views on the matter, and having done so, they have decoded to transfer him anyway.”
Mr O’Dea said, in his view, the Department of Justice “have treated the whole thing as a box-ticking exercise”.
Mr O’Dea said he would be raising the matter in the Dáil. “I will ask the government to justify its decision, but in my view it’s totally unjustifiable, it’s wrong, and cruel and it’s piling injustice on top of injustice.”
“This is how we treat an Irish champion boxer? The Minister for Justice and the Government should be ashamed of themselves,” Mr O’Dea said.
Two other men are wanted by gardaí in connection with the murder.
In a statement issued on Thursday night, a spokesman for the Minister for Justice Simon Harris said: “The Minister for Justice has expressed his sincere condolences to the family of Kevin Sheehy on their loss in such appalling circumstances, and wishes to do so again.”
It said the Minister had "with great difficulty" acceded to the request of Mr Jackson to serve the remainder of his term in a UK prison.
The Minister "is acutely aware that news of this development will be difficult for the family of Kevin Sheehy”, it stated.
“In arriving at this decision, and with the feelings of the family of at the forefront of his mind, Minister Harris sought to explore all possible options.”
“However, the Minister is obliged to act in a manner consistent with the obligations under international law, specifically the Council of Europe Convention on the transfer of prisoners and the European Convention on Human Rights.”
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