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Donegal man asks to be released from prison

A DONEGAL man who killed eight people in what has been described as Ireland’s worst ever  road traffic collision has asked to be released from prison.
 
Shaun Kelly (29), of Hill Road, Buncrana, on Friday asked the High Court to grant his release, claiming he was due one third enhanced remission. 
 
Kelly was initially jailed for two years when he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, which caused the deaths of seven of his friends and a pensioner in July 2010. However, the Appeal Court decided the sentence was too lenient and added another two years to the sentence originally handed down in December, 2014.
 
On July 11, 2010, Kelly was driving a Volkswagen Passat which collided with a car travelling in the opposite direction. Seven of those who died were young men aged between 19 and 23 years. They had all been passengers in Kelly’s car. The eighth victim was a 66 year old man who had been making his way home from bingo.
 
High Court Judge, Ms Justice Mary Faherty, heard from Michael P O’Higgins SC that with a full third remission, Kelly should have been released in mid-August. 
 
Solicitor, Niamh Kelly, of Michael J Staines and Company, told the court in an affidavit that Mr Kelly’s release date, based on a remission rate of one quarter, was due on December 16 next.
 
Based on a one third enhancement remission he should have been freed last Friday.
 
Mr O’Higgins said the Minister for Justice had refused to release Kelly from Loughan House Open Centre in Cavan. 
 
Judge Faherty granted Mr Kelly’s legal team leave to judicially challenge the Minister’s refusal for early release; leave to quash his decision revoking temporary release, and leave to seek an order directing the Minister to reconsider both matters. 
 

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