Wednesday 26 October 2016

Suicidal killer Nash refused jail transfer after 'threats'

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

The State has again turned down a request by convicted murderer Mark Nash to be transferred back to a prison where he has already spent 15 years locked up.

As a result of the decision, the High Court is to hear proceedings brought by Nash (42) aimed at securing his transfer back to Arbour Hill prison in Dublin.

He has already served 15 years there of a life sentence for the murder in 1997 of two people in Ballintober, Co Roscommon.

Last April, Nash was given another life sentence after he was found guilty of the separate murders of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callanan (61) at their sheltered housing in Grangegorman in Dublin, also in 1997. That sentence is to run from the date of his sentencing.

He was initially taken to Mountjoy Prison where he claimed he was under threat from other prisoners and under 23-hour lock up. He sought a return to Arbour Hill, but was then transferred to the Midlands Prison where he now claims he is also under threat.

His action against the prison service and the State was due to start last week before High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, but was adjourned after the judge was told the transfer request was being reconsidered by the State.

The court also heard Nash had stopped eating food since June 9 and had been hospitalised due to health concerns.

When the matter returned before the court yesterday, Mr Justice Kearns was informed that the transfer had again been declined. The reasons for the refusal were not given in open court.

Hugh Hartnett SC, for Nash, said his side was anxious the case should proceed quickly given his client's health.

It was accepted by both sides that Nash is "highly suicidal" and as he had not eaten for some time, he is at risk of dying.

Mr Justice Kearns adjourned the case to today.

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