Speaking in America tonight, Mr Kenny said he had the deepest sympathy for Gda McLoughlin’s parents Noel and Una and the wider family circle over how Martin McDermott from Raphoe ended up in Loughan House in Co Cavan – just 45 minutes from the Fernagh in Leitrim where Gary grew up.
Mr Kenny was forthright in his view of the decision of the Irish Prison Service to move McDermott – a serial high risk offender – to an open prison designed for low-risk offenders.
“This should not have happened,” he said.
“And we will find out exactly in what circumstances and in what way this was actually authorised for this individual to be transferred to an open prison at Loughan House,” he said.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has ordered an investigation into how the convicted garda killer was sent to, and then escaped from, the jail.
McDermott, 26, killed Gda McLoughlin in December 2009 by driving his car into the officer’s patrol vehicle.
He escaped from prison yesterday and was arrested in Derry today at 11am for causing criminal damage. He was detained at the home of his girlfriend in Shantallow.
Earlier the Garda Representative Association had called on the minister to investigate the events.
In a statement, GRA President Damien McCarthy said: “We are asking the minister to examine who made the decision to transfer this newly convicted prisoner to a low security prison – and how does this act as a deterrent to others?”
He said the law dictates that that juries should not “get entranced because the victim was a garda. We contend our laws are out of balance and tipped to favour criminal behaviour”.
He added: “As gardaí, we demand legislation that protects us in the course of our duty.
“We believe we have the support of all law-abiding citizens. Gardaí are expected to maintain high standards; we ask that society protects and supports us equally. This is not too much to ask.”