Man returned to jail with €11k in drugs hidden in body after son's communion
A MAN who was granted temporary release while on remand to attend a family event over the weekend was caught with €11,000 worth of heroin and cocaine when he returned to the jail.
The man, who cannot be named as he is currently facing charges, had been released on compassionate grounds to attend his son's first Holy Communion.
He was due to return to the prison in west Dublin early on Monday morning.
However, when he got there, officials became suspicious and decided to place him in a segregation unit and keep him under observation.
Eventually staff recovered the drugs, believed to be heroin and cocaine, that had been hidden in his body.
They were then handed over to gardai, who are currently investigating the incident.
The man, who is in his late 20s and from Dublin, is currently on remand and facing charges in relation to a series of burglaries.
He was previously given a three-year jail term for armed robbery and threatening to kill a member of staff at the premises he raided.
"He was given permission to attend his son's big day, but staff thought something wasn't quite right when he returned," said a source.
"They kept him under observation and eventually prison officers were able to recover the drugs."
The source added that the seizure's estimated worth would be significantly higher inside a prison.
"Although the haul is believed to be worth in the region of €11,000 at street value, it would fetch a lot more in jail," the source said.
A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said the organisation does not comment on individual cases.
Last year, convicts made a daring attempt to smuggle drugs into Wheatfield Prison by having a drone fly into the complex.
The drone - known as a quadcopter and valued by authorities at around €2,000 - crash-landed in an exercise yard within the main walls.
But before prison officers could retrieve it, one inmate managed to pull the drugs off the device and swallow them.
In February, the director general of the Irish Prison Service said that a new strategy would be announced to tackle the smuggling and use of illicit drugs in Irish prisons.
Michael Donnelly said the level of drug abuse and drugs crime is unacceptable, adding that a new approach is needed to confront the problem head on.
"The director general is highlighting drugs as being a serious issue for the Prison Service going forward from 2015 onwards," a prison service spokesperson said.
"As part of our new strategy we're going to be implementing a number of new measures to try and combat drugs."
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald is expected to publish details of the new strategy this month.