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Open prison no place for garda killer

THE ESCAPE from prison of garda killer Martin McDermott raises serious questions for our justice system.

McDermott was sentenced to seven years in an open prison for killing Garda Gary McLoughlin in 2009 while driving at high speed in Donegal.

McDermott absconded from Loughan House in Co Cavan last Thursday -- by simply walking out. He has since been caught.

The first question raised by this incident is how a sentence of just seven years is deemed suitable for killing a garda.

Secondly, the Prison Service and the Minister for Justice should explain why such an individual, with no less than 91 previous convictions, was being held in an open prison.

Until answers are provided the public cannot but believe that our justice system remains weighted in favour of the criminal and not the law-abiding citizen.