THE mother of champion Limerick boxer Kevin Sheehy, who was murdered in a deliberate hit and run three years ago, has won the right to challenge the transfer of her son’s killer to an English prison.
Tracey Tully, whose 20-year old son had been tipped to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympics, is seeking a High Court order preventing Coventry criminal Logan Jackson being repatriated to serve the remainder of his life sentence near his family.
At the High Court this morning, Ms Justice Siobhán Phelan granted Ms Tully leave to appeal a decision by Justice Minster Helen McEntee 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. He 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 was not 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.
Her application is being opposed by legal representatives of Minister McEntee and Jackson who is a notice to the proceedings.
Ms Tully’s barrister, Arthur Griffin, 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.
He also argued that the transfer 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 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 get this far. I had no idea what way it was going to go this morning, so I can breathe a little easier now.
“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 it.
“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. September 26 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 on the transfer will be fixed at the end of this week.