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Man who killed eight in Buncrana crash asks for prison release

first_imgThe Buncrana man jailed for killing eight people in Ireland’s worst ever single road traffic crash has asked to be released from prison. Shaun Kelly (29) of Hill Road, Ballymagan, Buncrana asked the Hugh Court today to grant his release under claims he was due one third enhanced remission. Shaun Kelly was initially jailed for two years when he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing the deaths of seven of his friends and a pensioner in July 2010. However, the Appeal Court decided that sentence was too lenient and added another two years to the sentence originally handed down in December, 2014.On 11 July 2010, Kelly was driving a Volkswagen Passat which collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction in Buncrana. Seven of those who died were young men aged between 19 and 23 who were passengers in Kelly’s car. The eighth was a 66-year-old man on his way back from bingo.The Irish Independent reports that Kelly’s counsel said that he should have already been released, as of last Friday.High Court judge Ms Justice Mary Faherty heard from Micheal P.O’Higgins SC that with a full third remission, Kelly should have been already released in mid-August.Solicitor Niamh Kelly, of Michael J. Staines and Company, told the court in an affidavit that Mr Kelly’s release date, based on a remission rate of one-quarter, was due on December 16 next.Based on a one third enhanced remission he should have been freed last Friday.Mr O’Higgins said the Minister for Justice had refused to release Mr Kelly from Loughan House Open Centre, Blacklion, Co Cavan.  He was now seeking to quash the Minister decision by way of judicial review.Kelly is also seeking to quash the Ministers order of February last revoking his temporary release following negative media coverage with pictures of him working on the family farm. Kelly also seeks an order directing the re-consideration by the Minister of his application for enhanced remission.What was described as a Media Book opened to the court outlined headlines in the various newspapers that covered Kelly’s temporary release including: Driver in worst car crash ever  victim families horrified Daily Mail; Secret Day release for driver who killed eight Herald;  Anger as man jailed for killing eight released Examiner.Mr O’Higgins told the court there was nothing in prison legislation entitling the Minister to refuse temporary release on the basis of newspaper coverage and none of the articles indicated any danger to the safety and protection of Mr Kelly by being granted temporary release.He said Mr Kelly’s mother, Mrs Pauline Kelly, took up her son’s case following cancellation of his temporary release and had been told by the Irish Prison Service that his release had led to unprecedented media attention all of which was negative.Mr O’Higgins said that in order to qualify for enhanced remission Mr Kelly had engaged in authorised structured activity involving computers, woodwork, art, catering, laundry, horticulture and industrial cleaning.Through his art classes he had designed, made and engraved seven memorial plaques to be placed on the graves of his friends who lost their lives in the accident.In his application to the Minister for enhanced remission Kelly stated: ‘I am truly sorry for my actions and the devastating losses which flowed from them culminating in the on-going grief of the families of my close friends and my own cousin who lost their lives on that fateful night’.He said he had tried to use his time in prison positively and constructively and he believed he had put himself in a position to successfully reintegrate into society although he would always carry the burden of his actions along with the pain of all concerned.Judge Faherty granted Mr Kellys legal team, Micheal OHiggins SC; Karl Monahan BL and Niamh Kelly, of Michael J. Staines Solicitors, leave to judicially challenge the Minister’s refusal for early enhanced release;  leave to quash his decision revoking temporary release, and leave to seek an order directing the Minister to reconsider both matters.Those who perished in the two car collision were Eamonn McDaid, 22, of Ballymagan, Buncrana; Mark McLaughlin, 21, of Ballinahone, Fahan; Paul Doherty, 19, of Ardagh, Ballyliffin; Ciaran Sweeney 19, of Ballyliffin; PJ McLaughlin, 21, of Rockstown, Burnfoot; James McEleney, 23, of Meenaduff, Clonmany and Damien McLaughlin, 21, of Umricam, Buncrana and 66 year old Hugh Friel who was returning from bingo in Buncrana when the tragedy occurred.Man who killed eight in Buncrana crash asks for prison release was last modified: August 26th, 2017 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img

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