Report from the Irish Times on landmark judgment delivered in Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin yesterday. Madden & Finucane represented Michael O’Loughlin.

The first two men to be jailed under 2009 anti-gang legislation have had their sentences reduced by the Court of Appeal.

Galway brothers Michael O’Loughlin (34), of Ballybane and Edward O’Loughlin (31), of Rahoon, were originally charged with directing a criminal organisation but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of membership after a decision not to prosecute was entered on the more serious offence.

They were both sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment for participating in the activities of a criminal organisation by Judge Martin Nolan at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on June 11th, 2012.

Both men successfully appealed their sentences and new terms of six and a half years’ imprisonment were imposed on them.

Mr Justice George Birmingham said there seemed to be some blurring of distinction between directing a criminal organisation and participating in one in the original hearing, the first time sentence was passed under the Act.

The Court of Appeal took the view that the brothers’ sentence was too severe in a situation where the organisation in question was operating at mid-level criminality.

The Irish Times