Cork man fails in bid for release in 1980 garda-murder case
on 05/09/2012 16:34:24
Colm O'Shea was sentenced to death by hanging at the Special Criminal Court for the capital murder of Garda Henry Byrne, but the sentence was commuted in 1981 by the President.
On July 7, 1980, garda Henry Byrne was one of two officers shot dead while investigating a raid on the Bank of Ireland in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.
Colm O'Shea and two other men were convicted but subsequently had their death sentences for capital murder commuted to 40 years in prison by the President in 1981.
Having failed to win early release under the Good Friday Agreement, Colm O'Shea claimed on this occasion that his detention at Portlaoise prison was unlawful because he had not been granted remission.
He lost his case. The court found commutation to be an exercise in clemency that is not capable of being remitted as it is not a punishment imposed by a court.
In the judgement, remission is described as a privilege to which a person in custody has no right.