JUSTICE Minister Simon Harris has granted a controversial application by convicted killer Logan Jackson, moving him from Limerick Prison to an English jail near his family.
The decision was confirmed yesterday despite the victim’s mother, Tracey Tully, pleading with the minister to keep Jackson in an Irish jail for the remainder of his sentence.
Ms Tully whose 20 year-old son Kevin Sheehy was targeted by Jackson in an unprovoked killing, said she was “sick to my stomach” at hearing the news.
An email from the office of the Chief State Solicitor office informed her solicitor that Minister Harris had granted Jackson’s transfer request, which he brought under the European Convention on Human Rights.
A five-time national boxing champion who was earmarked as a future Olympian, Kevin Sheehy died after he was repeatedly run over by Jackson who was driving a 4×4 vehicle at Hyde Road, Limerick, on July 1, 2019.
Two other men are wanted by Gardaí in connection with the murder.
Eight weeks after Jackson, of Longford Road, Coventry, was convicted and sentenced to life in Limerick Prison in December 2021, he successfully applied for a transfer to England.
However, before Jackson could be transferred, Tracey Tully instructed her solicitor Sinead Nolan of Mark Murphy & Company, Limerick, to seek a judicial review of the transfer decision.
Last year Ms Tully issued a High Court challenge against the Minister’s decision, on grounds that it amounted to a breach of her human rights and was made outside of the Minister’s powers under the 2019 Parole Act.
Ms Tully also sought a declaration that the minister’s decision was unconstitutional as it transferred the jurisdiction for sentencing him from the Irish State to another State. Ms Tully also argued that her rights to be consulted on any parole applications by Jackson would be extinguished if his transfer went ahead.
The proceedings were resolved last November after the Minister agreed to review the decision.
Speaking last night, Ms Tully said she hadn’t been notified the Minister was deciding the matter yesterday and understood it might be dealt with in a number of years.
“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 initial decision to transfer Jackson so early into his sentence.
“I’m shocked and traumatised. 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 said 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.”
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 decided to transfer him anyway.”
He said the Department of Justice had “treated the whole thing as a box-ticking exercise”.
He added he had reliable information that it was “for reasons of convenience” that Jackson was being transferred to the UK.
Sources said 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.
Mr O’Dea said he would be raising the matter in the Dail.
“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,” he said.
The Department of Justice was asked for comment but did not immediately respond.
In 2017, Logan Jackson was convicted by an English court of possessing two 9mm bullets, which he said had been put through his letterbox at his home in Coventry.
He had a foot amputated as a result of a gunshot injury after threats were issued by a Coventry gang.
In a statement issued last night, a spokesperson for Justice Minister Simon Harris said he had, with great difficulty, acceded to the request of Mr Jackson to serve the remainder of his term in a UK prison.
“Minister Harris is acutely aware that news of this development will be difficult for the family of Kevin Sheehy,” the statement continued.
“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.
“Having considered those obligations, the clear advice of the Attorney General, and the particular circumstances of the case, it was necessary to accede to Mr Jackson’s application for transfer.
“In doing so, the Minister is satisfied that Mr Jackson can expect to spend many more years in prison, as is just given the horrific nature of the crime he committed and the pain he has caused,” the statement concluded.