McKevitt loses case for remission

Jailed Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt has lost his High Court case to try secure one third remission of his sentence for good behaviour.

McKevitt loses case for remission

Jailed Real IRA leader Michael McKevitt has lost his High Court case to try secure one third remission of his sentence for good behaviour.

The 59-year-old from Beech Park, Blackrock, Co Louth is serving 20 years in Portlaoise prison for directing terrorism and membership of an illegal organisation.

Michael McKevitt has done courses in French, music, computers and yoga while on the Republican landing of Portlaoise jail.

He claims he is entitled to one third remission because the prison rules state that by engaging in these "structured authorised activities" he is less likely to re-offend on his release.

However the Justice Minister turned down the Real IRA leader's application to have his sentence shortened – in part because Gardaí believe he will re-engage in dissident activity.

Following a challenge by Mr McKevitt, the High Court has upheld that decision.

The court ruled that the prison rules are not to be applied mechanically without regard to the outcome, because that could lead to absurd results like embezzlers getting out of jail early for doing accountancy courses.

More in this section