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Last Updated: Monday, 4 February 2008, 09:13 GMT
IRA garda killer freed from jail
Jerry McCabe
Garda Jerry McCabe was killed in Adare, County Limerick, in 1996
One of four IRA men jailed over the shooting of Garda Jerry McCabe has been released from prison.

Jeremiah Sheehy, who served 12 years, was freed from Castlerea Prison in Counity Roscommon on Monday.

Garda McCabe was shot 14 times during a bungled IRA robbery in Adare, County Limerick, in 1996.

A spokesman for Mr McCabe's wife, Ann, said the government had shown a lack of courtesy by not contacting her about Sheehy's release.

"There are enough advisers and spin doctors and I cannot understand why they they couldn't sent a one-line letter to Mrs McCabe officially informing her of the release," Pat Carney said.

"The McCabe family is not longer going to allow the release of these criminals to upset it. We have moved on."

Sinn Fein campaigned for the killers to be released early under the Good Friday Agreement but Mr McCabe's widow, Ann, vehemently opposed this.

She was supported by the Garda Representative Association.

Sheehy was jailed for his part in the botched post office raid in Adare village in County Limerick during which Mr McCabe was shot and killed and his partner Ben O'Sullivan was seriously injured.

Last year, another member of the gang, Michael O'Neill, was released after serving eight years.

The other members of the gang - Pearse McAuley from Strabane, County Tyrone, and Kevin Walsh from Patrickswell, County Limerick - are still serving sentences of 14 years each for their part in the manslaughter.

In 2004, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams revealed that Garda McCabe's killers were to have been released the previous year, as part of a deal to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive.

Speaking at the time, Mr Adams said: "Release of the Castlerea prisoners was part of an agreed sequence of statements and actions."

Adams confirms release 'deal'
11 May 04 |  Northern Ireland
'Plan' to set Garda killers free
07 May 04 |  Northern Ireland
Garda's killers 'must not be freed'
24 Dec 01 |  Northern Ireland

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