Founder of Real IRA splinter group loses appeal for early Irish parole for 'directing terror'

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

The founder of an Irish Republican Army splinter group has lost his bid for early parole after a judge ruled that the government was entitled to consider him a continuing terrorist threat.

Tuesday's Dublin High Court ruling supported a Justice Department decision to require Michael McKevitt to serve his full 20-year prison sentence for a 2003 conviction of "directing terror."

McKevitt, who founded the Real IRA faction responsible for the 1998 bombing of Omagh in Northern Ireland, argued that his good behavior while incarcerated since 2001 qualified him for a one-third deduction in his sentence. His lawyers cited McKevitt's involvement in jailhouse classes including drama, yoga and creative writing.

A Real IRA car bomb killed 29 people, mostly children and women, in Omagh five months after Northern Ireland's peace accord.