Heroin dealer dies 'after drug package bursts inside him'
A CRIMINAL has died after a package of drugs which he concealed inside his body burst in prison.
Pascal Doyle, from Carlow town, was found unconscious in his Mountjoy cell by prison officers just after 3.30am on Saturday. He was taken to the Mater Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 40 minutes later.
The initial indications are that he had a package of concealed drugs, and that this might have burst inside his body.
A post-mortem has been carried out.
The Prison Service said that gardai and the Prisons Inspectorate are carrying out separate investigations.
A dad of two, Doyle (30) had been in prison since 2009 following a series of convictions for drug-related offences and assault.
He had been addicted to heroin since his mid-teens and had more than 60 convictions for offences ranging from car theft to threatening behaviour towards gardai.
A prison source said: "At this stage, it seems that he had concealed a package of drugs internally and that it burst. However, we will have to wait for the results of a post-mortem to be sure."
In 2011, Doyle was jailed as part of the garda operation 'Clean Streets' after he sold heroin to an undercover officer in Carlow town.
The practice of concealing drugs inside the body cavity is one of the most common forms of transporting and holding drugs in prisons, and also the most dangerous.
Prisoners who have been found to be concealing drugs smuggled into the prison are subject to strip searching and have 'closed' visits, with perspex screens between them and their visitors.
Last month, a Dublin gang used a helicopter drone to drop drugs into Wheatfield Prison.
The device crashed into netting erected over an exercise yard to stop drugs being thrown over the perimeter wall.
The remote control helicopter was recovered by prison officers.
Netting was erected over the exercise yard in Mountjoy at a cost of €250,000 two years ago, dramatically reducing the supply of illegal drugs.