Mark Nash: I was locked out of earlier parole bid

Serial killer Mark Nash claims the delay in charging him with the murders of two women in Grangegorman had “locked him out” from applying for parole as early as he could have, the Supreme Court has heard.

Nash, aged 43, was jailed for life last year for the murders of Mary Callinan, 61, and Sylvia Shiels, 59, in their home in Dublin, in March 1997. He had already been serving a life sentence imposed in 1998 for a double murder in Roscommon in August 1997 when Catherine Doyle and her husband Carl were brutally killed at their home in Castlerea.

He was charged in 2009 with the Grangegorman murders and later failed in a High Court attempt to stop that prosecution, claiming that because of the delay in charging him there was a real risk of an unfair trial.

The Supreme Court upheld that decision. Following a 48-day trial in the Central Criminal Court he was jailed for life for a second time. The judge refused to backdate his sentence to reflect the fact that he was already serving life for the first murders.

As a result, he claims, he was “locked out” from applying for parole sooner than he might have under a scheme where even those serving life are entitled to apply after a certain number of years.

Even though the Supreme Court dismissed his challenge prohibiting his trial, the issue of his claim for damages and the legal costs had still to be dealt with.

When the case returned before the court yesterday,

Hugh Hartnett, counsel for Nash, said he was seeking costs and damages because his client had been locked out from applying for parole after seven or eight years because of the delay in charging him.

Had he been tried in 2002, when the authorities were satisfied he could be charged with the Grangegorman murders, and after conviction, he would have been able to apply for parole at this time, counsel said.

The Supreme Court said it would receive written submissions from both sides and adjourned it for three weeks.


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