Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Former IRA gunrunner Ferris gets green light for luxury home

Convicted IRA gunrunner Martin Ferris has been given the thumbs up for a new luxury home in rural Kerry.

The Sinn Fein TD has plans to demolish an existing single-story dwelling and construct a three-bed, split-level dormer bungalow.



Kerry County Council has authorised the impressive house plans in Barrow, north of Fenit and close to Tralee Golf Club.



All the bedrooms will be at ground level along with the living room.



The master bedroom will have a large en-suite bathroom and an additional wet room area.



The upper level of the home is open plan, with a large kitchen, spacious dining area and an outdoor balcony overlooking the idyllic Kerry countryside.



The planning application was made at the beginning of August, just before Mr Ferris found himself embroiled in controversy.



There was public outrage when it was revealed that the Dail deputy met the convicted killers of Det Garda Jerry McCabe on their release from prison.



Kevin Walsh and Pearse McCauley walked out of Castlerea prison and were greeted by Mr Ferris, who ushered them into a white van.



The two men had served more than 10 years of a 14-year manslaughter sentence for shooting the Limerick detective during a botched post office robbery in 1996.



Mr Ferris later defended his actions, saying that the two men had decided, along with himself and a few others, that they would keep their release as low key as possible to avoid causing further pain to Mr McCabe's family.



Walsh, McCauley and their accomplices in the failed raid, Jeremiah Sheehy and Michael O'Neill, have since apologised to the McCabe family.



"The killing of Jerry McCabe was wrong. It should never have happened," Mr Ferris said.



"I fully agree with what has been said by the lads themselves, that they deeply regret what happened."



County planners have placed strict conditions on his new home, including thick native hedges for all new site boundaries. Also, any trees or shrubs that die must be replaced with similar native species, the council said.

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