Tuesday 20 November 2018

Son of slain Limerick gangster freed as judge rules he's entitled to one-third remission

Mr Justice Max Barrett directed the release of Edward Ryan Jnr (aged 31) from the Midlands Prison.
Mr Justice Max Barrett directed the release of Edward Ryan Jnr (aged 31) from the Midlands Prison.

A son of a slain Limerick gangster has been freed by the High Court after a judge ruled he was entitled to one-third remission from a six-year prison sentence.

Mr Justice Max Barrett directed the release of Edward Ryan Jnr (aged 31) from the Midlands Prison.

In 2010 , Ryan with an address College Avenue, Moyross, Limerick, and his brother Kieran, pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to possession of a pistol and 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition.

The weapon and ammunition were seized when gardai stopped and searched a car following a surveillance operation.

Eddie and Kieran are the sons of gangland figure Eddie Ryan Snr. (41), who was shot dead in the Moose Bar in Limerick city in November 2000.

The brothers made national headlines in 2003, when they were allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint. They turned up safe a week later, following a national manhunt by the gardai and the army.

In a High Court action against the State, Eddie Ryan junior claimed he was entitled to be released under remission rules as he had only a third of his sentence left to serve.

Ryan said he qualifies because he has been of good behaviour and has availed of all structured activities and courses available to him in the prison.

Had he been given one third remission, he would have been released in May.

The court heard he worked full time in the prison's woodwork shop and made items for a charity shop.

The Minister for Justice, last April, turned down the Limerick man's application to be released saying he did not qualify for remission.

He then brought legal proceedings.

The Minister's lawyers argued that a third remission is only given in the most exceptional cases, and that the concession will only be used sparingly.

It was alleged Ryan failed to engage with many training or education courses he was afforded. There was no record of him engaging with the metal shop, computer workshop or attending counselling.

There was also an allegation contained in newspaper report that Ryan was involved in a prison disturbance related to a Limerick gangland feud.

Mr Justice Barrett said the Minister in his refusal relied on "deficient information" about Ryan which ought not to have been regarded.

Ryan had shown good conduct and had engaged in authorised structured activities in the prison designed to make him less likely to re-offend and better integrate into society once he is released.

The judge said Ryan did not engage in other activities because he worked full time in the woodwork shop and did not have time to avail of other services on offer.

Ryan did not suffer from any addictions or psychological conditions so "he could hardly be criticised for a failure to engage" with addiction counselling.

He had denied being involved in the prison disturbance and the judge noted that he was never questioned or disciplined over the allegation.

This was a case where the prisoner is entitled to remission and he ordered his release.

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