The mother of murdered boxer Kevin Sheehy has been given the green light by the High Court to bring a challenge aimed at preventing her son’s killer from being transferred from an Irish prison to one in the UK.
Tracey Tully, whose 20-year-old son was killed at Hyde Road Limerick on July 1st, 2019, had sought permission to bring a High Court judicial review proceedings against the decision by the Minister for Justice to sanction the proposed transfer.
In her action Ms Tully is seeking an order preventing Logan Jackson, who is serving a life sentence for Mr Sheehy’s murder, in Limerick Prison from being repatriated back to England.
In a ruling on Tuesday Ms Justice Siobhan Phelan said she was satisfied the legal threshold to allow Ms Tully to bring her claim had been reached and that Ms Tully had raised grounds concerning the rights of victims of crime that are arguable.
The case, which can now be listed for a full hearing before a High Court judge, will return before the courts in October.
Ms Tully, represented by Ciaran O’Loughlin SC claims the Minister’s decision amounts to a breach of her rights under the 2017 Victims of Crime Act.
She claims that Irish legislation gives victims the right to be consulted on parole applications by their wrongdoers.
Ms Tully claims that those rights would be extinguished if Jackson’s transfer to the UK goes ahead.
She claims she will not have any say, nor will she be able to make any submissions to the UK authorities when Jackson applies for parole.
She also claims that the Minister’s decision is unconstitutional and an “abdication of the Irish state’s responsibility to determine when a person serving a life sentence may be paroled.”
Lawyers representing both the Minister and Jackson, who is a notice party to the proceedings, had opposed the application for leave and had argued that Ms Tully’s action should have been dismissed.
Mr Sheehy, an Irish champion boxer, died after being repeatedly struck by a vehicle driven by Jackson of Longford Road, Coventry, England.
Last year Jackson was convicted of Mr Sheehy’s murder by a jury at the Central Criminal Court and was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Following his conviction 31-year-old Jackson successfully applied to the Minister for Justice for a transfer from Ireland, so he can serve out his sentence in an English prison.
In her action Ms Tully seeks an order quashing the transfer.
She also seeks declarations from the court including that the proposed transfer breaches her rights under the 2017 Victim of Crime Act and was made outside 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.
The Minister denies that Ms Tully’s rights have been breached, and the transfer had been lawfully approved.
The Minister previously gave an undertaking to the court that the proposed transfer was to be put on hold pending the outcome of the leave application.
After being informed that the Minister’s lawyers were not in a position to extend that undertaking, the Judge gave Ms Tully’s lawyers permission to return to court and seeks orders halting Jackson’s transfer if they become aware of any plans to move him.