Dates set down to hear cases of prisoners seeking release under suspended sentences ruling

A number of cases were already before the High Court

Dates set down to hear cases of prisoners seeking release under suspended sentences ruling

File photo: Criminal Courts of Jusice

The High Court has set down various dates over the next few weeks to hear the cases of a number of prisoners seeking to be released.

Their applications were made after Mr Justice Michael Moriarty declared two sections of the law governing suspended sentences as 'unconstitutional'.

The parts of the law which have been struck down relate to the activation of a suspended sentence.

Mr Justice Moriarty highlighted the fact that a criminal given the benefit of a suspended sentence could be sent back to prison after being convicted of another crime before having the opportunity to appeal it.

A number of cases were already before the High Court this week, and 15 others were mentioned today.

Alan Hutch was among those mentioned.

He is the son of Eddie Hutch Senior, who was gunned down in February as part of a gangland feud in Dublin.

He is serving time for threatening to kill a number of gardaí.

He was serving a suspended sentence at the time he made the threats and is now questioning the legality of his detention.

Lawyers for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), as well as those representing the various prison governors, were given time to make written submissions and a number of hearing dates have been set down.