Michael McKevitt claimed he was entitled to remission because he had participated in prison activities
Michael McKevitt, who is serving a 20-year sentence for directing terrorism and membership of the Real IRA, has failed in his bid to be released from prison immediately.
McKevitt claimed that his participation in structured prison activities entitled him to enhanced one third remission of his prison sentence.
He claimed he was entitled to such remission because he had participated in activities including computer courses, speech and drama, art, French, yoga and an Open University course in creative writing.
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said she was entitled to refuse him remission taking into account garda views and other matters relating to his risk of reoffending.
Mr Justice Peter Kelly ruled this morning that participation in structured activities in prison had as its object a reduction in the likelihood of reoffending.
But he said the minister must be satisfied such an object had been achieved.
Simply because a prisoner engaged in structured activities, he said, that did not mean a reduction in the likelihood of reoffending had automatically been achieved.
He said the minister was entitled to take into account all of the matters before her.
And he said even if one excluded the evidence of gardaí then there was an abundance of other material allowing the minister to reach her decision to refuse to grant him enhanced remission.
He refused to quash her decision and rejected McKevitt’s application.