McDermott had absconded from Loughan House before
- Minister says sending him there was ‘wrong’

A convicted garda killer who escaped from Loughan House had done so before.

A convicted garda killer who escaped from Loughan House had done so before.

Martin McDermott, a 26-year-old from Raphoe with 91 previous convictions, was sentenced to seven years in prison last July for the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin in 2009.

He was initially sent to Midlands Prison but, after a review, it was decided that moving him to Loughan House would facilitate family visits and better aid his rehabilitation, a Prison Service report on his escape stated.

McDermott absconded from Loughan House just 12 days after being sent there.

The report also revealed that he had been sent to Loughan House a number of times before, between 2005 and 2005, for a variety of offences including drink-driving, driving without insurance, burglary and using threatening and abusive behaviour.

He escaped during one period of detention, on November 27, 2007 but returned to custody less than a week later.

In a statement released yesterday, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said: “”Having considered the facts of the case, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that this decision was wrong.

“First and foremost, in making the decision, sufficient consideration was not given to the gravity of the heinous offence which had been committed. “Neither was adequate consideration given to other criteria that should have been taken into account.”