Longford Mass-card man allowed to travel

A Longford Mass-card salesman who was jailed for 18 months for being in possession of images of child pornography is to get his passport back, despite objections from the State.

A Longford Mass-card salesman who was jailed for 18 months for being in possession of images of child pornography is to get his passport back, despite objections from the State.

Thomas McNally (52), Foynes Court, Longford has been given permission to travel to china with his wife - despite the fact that gardaí have stated that if he fails to return, there will be no way of getting McNally back to Ireland.

Counsel for the State, Desmond Dockery BL told the hearing that the defendant had “acquired a Chinese wife”.

McNally was jailed in October 2011 at Longford Circuit Court after he was convicted on two counts of possession of child pornography on February 6 and 7, 2006.

In January 2012, he was granted bail on compassionate grounds due to illness, pending an appeal against conviction and sentence and the court was told that it could be another 18 months before the appeal hearing takes place.

Under his bail terms, McNally was obliged to surrender his passport and not apply for any new travel documentation. however the appeal court has now indicated that it will return his passport.

Mr Dockery BL told the court that the defendant no longer held any connection to Longford and gardí pointed to the fact that he may pose a flight risk if his passport was returned to him.