The Families of the Victims, should always, come First; Keep the Ruthless Killers, Locked Up?

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Many of Ireland’s most notorious killers to remain locked up over delay in parole process

2nd December 2022 10:52 Dessie Dundon above,

Many of Ireland’s most notorious killers are to remain locked up for a longer time behind bars because of a delay in the parole process.

The likes of Veronica Guerin’s assassin Brian Meehan, Limerick crime boss Dessie Dundon and evil killer rapist Michael Murphy are among a large number of long term ‘lifers’ who can’t get release dates.

The average life sentence in Ireland over the past decade has moved from 14-15 to 18-19 years.

However there are currently over 50 prisoners who have served well over 20 years and are being forced to serve longer sentences because of new changes to the parole system, compounded with the fallout of Covid-19 lockdowns.

The new Independent Parole Board was appointed under new laws in 2019. This took the decision making on release dates away from the Minister for Justice and put it in the hands of the new body.

The new Board has also a legal duty to give the victims of crime a greater say in the whole parole process.

An Irish prison source said: “The whole parole process has been delayed largely because the new Board is only now starting to get up and running because of Covid.

“We effectively had two years where very little happened and it is nobody’s fault.

“There is a backlog of cases to be dealt with and a lot of convicted killers who have served 20 to 23 years by this stage are waiting to find out when they will be released.

“However the families of their victims have to be interviewed as part of the process and they will have an influence on the eventual outcome in each case.”

Brian Meehan has been held in the Shelton Abbey open prison in County Wicklow for the last year but has not been given any date when he will be freed.

Michael Murphy abducted, raped and murdered a German tourist Bettina Poeschel, 28,on September 25, 2001 as she walked on a road outside Drogheda on her way to Newgrange. He has served over 20 years.

Bettina’s killer had only been freed from prison, a few years earlier, for choking a pensioner Kitty Carroll to death in a robbery on her way home from bingo. He did eight years in jail for manslaughter.

Dessie Dundon has served 19 years for the gangland murder of rival Limerick gang boss Kieran Keane in 2003. He had hoped to be repatriated to his native England before he was eventually freed. No decision has been made on this yet.

The prison source added: “A lot of bad boys are being forced to spend a longer time in jail because of the new parole board. I don’t think the public will be complaining.”

The Parole Board was contacted for comment on the issue but hasn’t issued a statement yet.

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