Man guilty of murder can challenge withdrawal of prison privileges

Portlaoise Prison authorities believe Peter Kenny was slipped ‘prohibited article’

A Dublin man guilty of murdering a father of three in the city five years ago was told by the High Court on Tuesday he could challenge a withdrawal of privileges in Portlaoise Prison where he is serving a life sentence.

Padraig Dwyer SC, counsel for convicted killer Peter Kenny, told Ms Justice Mary Faherty his client had temporarily lost the right to visits, phone calls and recreational activities because the prison authorities believed he had been slipped a "prohibited article" during a visit.

Mr Dwyer said Kenny (31), formerly of McCarthy’s Terrace, Rialto, had allegedly been seen receiving an article during a visit. When taken away in handcuffs and searched nothing had been found.

Kenny was convicted in the Central Criminal Court in 2011 of murdering John Carroll (33), of Charlemont Street, Dublin, who was shot dead while socialising in Grumpy Jack's pub in The Coombe on February 18th, 2009.


Kenny’s trial was told that the case against him had been built around the word of the only man to admit taking part in the murder. Joseph O’Brien, described as a drug dealer since he was 15 and a Garda informant, was arrested trying to leave Ireland. After admitting to sourcing a motorbike used in the killing and relaying information back and forth, he turned State witness, the Central Criminal Court was told in 2011.

O’Brien had been accepted into the Witness Security Programme and granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying against Kenny who, he stated during the murder trial, had been “the shooter” in the killing.

Solicitor Miska Hanahoe told the court in a grounding affidavit that Kenny was serving a life sentence in Portlaoise Prison and allegedly been seen receiving a prohibited article during a visit.

He had been taken away in handcuffs and searched but nothing had been found on him. He had categorically denied having received anything but the prison governor had stated he was satisfied from having watched CCTV that Mr Kenny had received something during the visit.

Mr Dwyer said Kenny had not been allowed to scrutinise the CCTV.

Judge Faherty said she had been satisfied Kenny was entitled to leave to apply for a judicial review of the governor’s decision, and granted Kenny a stay on the governor’s withdrawal of privileges until further court order.

Mr Dwyer said the withdrawal of privileges was to have continued until June 20th.