The High Court is to be asked if the state can be held responsible for crimes committed by violent and dangerous offenders while they are on bail.
The widower of Sylvia Roche Kelly, a 34-year-old mother from Clare who was murdered by an offender on bail while facing two serious charges, has issued proceedings against the state.
The suit claims the killer should not have been given bail, because he posed a significant threat to the public.
Sylvia was murdered by Jerry McGrath, a 24-year-old unemployed man from Dundrum, Co Tipperary, at a hotel in Limerick in December 2007. McGrath was on bail having been charged in connection with the attempted abduction of a five-year-old girl in Clonmel the previous October.
McGrath was also facing charges relating to a serious assault on a female taxi driver.
Gwen Bowen, a solicitor acting for Lorcan Roche Kelly, confirmed that proceedings have been issued against the state alleging negligence. A complaint has also been lodged with the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission.
The legal action has attracted interest from lawyers, victims’ groups and civil rights organisations because for the first time it may be decided if the government, the courts and the gardai have a legal obligation to deny and oppose bail to suspects who pose a danger.
State sued for giving killer Jerry McGrath bail - Times Online