04 April 2006

'Border Fox' in second bid for release

Irish Independent

DESSIE O'Hare has gone to the High Court hoping to secure his immediate release under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

This is the second time the former INLA man, known as the Border Fox, has applied to the court hoping to have the prison door opened.

He received a 40-year jail term in 1987 in connection with the kidnapping of Dublin dentist John O'Grady.

In this second legal challenge, O'Hare, who is in Castlerea Prison, claims a legitimate expectation that he would have been released by November 2000, when he was declared a qualifying prisoner under the terms of the Agreement.

He also expected to be given his freedom at the latest by July 2003, when the Justice Minister indicated an appropriate pre-release programme would be put in place for him.

The failure to free him breaches his rights to fair procedures and natural and constitutional justice, and he has been in unlawful detention since November 2000, O'Hare contends.

The minister had also unreasonably and inexcusably delayed in setting a release date. Mr Justice John McMenamin yesterday granted leave to counsel for O'Hare, to bring judicial review proceedings in which O'Hare will seek a number of orders and declarations, including a declaration that his detention is unlawful and an order that he be released "forthwith".

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