High Court denies Athlone armed robber early release

An Athlone man jailed for ten years for his role in an armed robbery where a family was held hostage is not entitled to be released on bail until his action aimed at securing his early release from prison has been decided, the High Court has ruled.

Brian McGinley (43) had sought to be released on bail until his legal challenge against the Minister for Justice’s refusal not to grant him additional or enhanced remission of up to 33 per cent off his prison sentence.

 

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In a ruling on Thursday, Mr Justice Richard Humphrey’s said he was not granting McGinley bail for several reasons, including that there were “no special or exceptional circumstances” that warranted granting the married father-of-six bail.

Factors including that McGinley’s family was prepared to lodge money to court, his previous compliance with bail conditions and that he was not a flight risk did come “remotely near” “the very high threshold at which post-conviction bail would be appropriate,” the Judge said.

If the minister had granted him enhanced remission, McGinley would have been released last July.

With the standard 25 per cent remission off his sentence, McGinley is due for release in May 2018.

In his action McGinley, currently incarcerated in Castlerea Prison, argues he is entitled to enhanced remission because he is a model prisoner, has engaged in a number of structured activities in the prison including gardening.

In 2010 McGinley was convicted by a Circuit Criminal Court jury of aggravated burglary committed at the home of businessman Damien Kilmartin in Glasson, Athlone on February 13th, 2005.

The judicial review proceedings stand adjourned to October 10th next.