A convicted killer has failed in a High Court bid to secure temporary prison release for his murdered brother Malcolm McKeown’s funeral.
Clifford McKeown issued emergency judicial review proceedings after he was denied permission to attend today’s service.
But a judge backed the decision taken to refuse compassionate release, based on his record and the risk to the safety of prison staff who would have been escorting him.
Mr Justice Horner said: “I’m satisfied the governor has made a lawful decision.”
Malcolm McKeown, 54, was gunned down in Waringstown on Monday. He is due to be buried following a church service in Lurgan.
His 60-year-old brother Clifford is serving a minimum 24-year sentence at Magilligan for the murder of Catholic taxi driver Michael McGoldrick Lurgan in July 1996.
Counsel for Clifford McKeown Sean Mullan also argued: “This is a man who hasn’t had the opportunity to grieve for his brother.
“It’s not a case where his brother had been ill and he visited him; his brother was murdered on Monday night.”
Mr Mullan insisted there is no suggestion his client would attempt any sort or reprisal.
During the hearing it also emerged that Clifford McKeown has turned down an offer to watch the funeral from prison via a live link.
Dismissing McKeown’s legal challenge, Justice Horner added: “I would urge him strongly to reconsider following the service on the live link.”