A convicted killer who absconded from custody in Northern Ireland seven months ago has been arrested and brought before the High Court in Dublin today.

James Meehan, with an address at Headford Grove, Kells, Co Meath, was detained by arrangement on foot of an extradition warrant this morning.

The 53-year-old was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Jim Mc Fadden in May 2007.

Mr McFadden, a 42-year-old father of four from Derry, was repeatedly punched in the chest and died from a ruptured heart.

Meehan has served the minimum 14 year sentence and had been transferred to an open facility in Belfast where inmates enjoy more freedom with unlocked cells and weekends out in preparation for permanent release.

He went missing on Sunday 9 October 2022 after being released on "home leave".

The High Court was told that Meehan was living with his brother in Co Meath and is "unlawfully at large".

The State objected to Meehan's application for bail but his defence barrister Maria Brosnan said he had notified the authorities in Northern Ireland of his whereabouts and was proposing to stay at his brother’s house and sign on daily at Kells Garda Station.

His brother, who used to work in school maintenance, was also in court to act as an independent surety.

Mr Justice Karida Naidoo said Meehan was not "hiding out" but living openly and that "a compelling feature" of the case was that he had been in contact with the Department of Justice last year.

Meehan has already surrendered his passport and was granted bail after he agreed to stay at his brother’s house, sign on daily and not apply for any new boarding pass or travel document.

He is due back before the High Court on 12 June.