The mother of murder victim Kevin Sheehy is worried she could be landed with all the legal costs arising from her bid to stop her son’s killer being transferred to the UK.
racey Tully, whose 20-year-old son was murdered at a house party in Limerick three years ago, has mounted a High Court action to try to quash Justice Minister Helen McEntee’s decision to approve Logan Jackson’s application to serve the remainder of his life sentence in an English prison.
In a frenzied attack at the house party on July 1, 2019, Jackson (31) repeatedly ran over Irish boxing champion Kevin Sheehy with a Mitsubishi Shogun 4×4 as he lay on the ground.
The Englishman, described in the Dáil as a “career criminal”, was jailed for life last December after a jury took two hours and 30 minutes to unanimously reject his defence of provocation.
He has shown no remorse for the murder.
Three months after he was convicted, Ms McEntee signed off on Jackson’s application to serve the rest of his sentence in his home country.
Counsel for the minister told the High Court at a hearing last week that they wished to reserve costs in respect of Ms Tully’s application for leave to seek a judicial review of the decision, a move that leaves open the possibility of her being pursued for crippling legal costs by the State.
Ms McEntee’s spokesperson described this as “standard procedure”, but Ms Tully’s solicitor, Sinéad Nolan, said it put her client in a difficult position.
“I will warn my client about costs if we were granted leave to bring our application, because if we are unsuccessful, the costs of these cases are huge,” she said.
“It is hugely concerning for us because our client is a woman of very limited means.”
Limerick Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea, who was told by Ms McEntee last month that Jackson’s transfer had been approved months before the victim’s family were informed, called on the minister to reverse her decision.
“It’s going to leave a very bad taste among the people of Limerick, where this family has a lot of support, if this transfer goes ahead,” he said. “It’s unthinkable, it’s sickening, it’s absolutely revolting.”
A government source insisted last night that it was highly unlikely the State would pursue costs.
The minister’s spokesperson said: “It is standard procedure that consideration is not given to the question of costs at the start of court proceedings. Rather, the question of costs is reserved at the outset as a matter to be addressed in due course, usually once the judge has ruled on the substance of the application.”
The spokesperson added that it would be “highly unusual for there to be any discussion on the question of costs until the end of the proceedings”.
Last Thursday, Justice Siobhán Phelan adjourned court proceedings and directed that Jackson be served notice in person and through his solicitors of the case.
The court was told Ms Tully brought the proceedings because she claims that if the transfer goes ahead, she fears she will not have any say, nor be able to make any submissions to the UK authorities if Jackson applies for parole.
Mr O’Dea said his pleas for Ms McEntee to meet the family of Mr Sheehy have fallen on deaf ears.
The minister’s spokesperson said: “Due to the current legal proceedings and processes, the minister is unfortunately unable to meet with the Sheehy family.”