Two McCabe killers lose release bid
wo men serving jail sentences for their part in the killing of Detective Garda Jerry McCabe ten years ago have lost their bid to be released under the Good Friday Agreement.
Pearse McAuley, who is serving 14 years for manslaughter, and Jeremiah Sheehy, serving 12 years, had challenged the Government’s failure to release them under the terms of the agreement.
Mr Justice Daniel Herbert ruled there was no unjustifiable discrimination between Jeremiah Sheehy and Pearse McAuley and 57 other prisoners who have been released under the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland.
The judge said it was a wholly legitimate aim for the Minister for Justice, Michael McDowell, and the Government to consider that Sheehy, McAuley and two others convicted of the unlawful killing of Det. Garda McCabe should be required to serve the sentence imposed on them by the Special Criminal Court.
The punishment, the judge said, was for the unique and shocking nature of the crime and as a deterrent to them and others against participation in paramilitary and criminal activity.
Mr Justice Herbert said it was also legitimate for the Government to wish to ensure that the peace process should not be jeopardised by the widespread loss of public confidence which would probably follow from the early release of the men.
With remission, McAuley is due to be released in August 2009, while Sheehy is due for release in February 2008.
It would be a terrible day if these men were released. They murdered Det. Jerry McCabe in cold blood due to a bothched robbery. They should serve their full sentences.