herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Mountjoy lock-down after prisoner throws drugs from jail roof

Mountjoy Prison
Mountjoy Prison

More than 35 prisoners were held in lock-down in an exercise yard at Mountjoy Prison after an attempt to smuggle drugs in went wrong.

The incident happened shortly after 11am yesterday, when an inmate was discovered on the roof trying to retrieve a large package of drugs.

He was intercepted by prison officers but managed to throw the contraband into the exercise yard before being removed from the roof.

Hitman

The authorities are investigating whether the drugs are linked to a notorious hitman for the Kinahan cartel who is on remand, sources say.

Around 15 of the 35 inmates in the exercise yard went to the package and it is believed they took drugs from it.

Prison officers suspect they may have hidden the drugs internally, and sources said last night that if the drugs are not seized, the inmates in question face being placed in isolation.

The incident led to a stand-off, and specially-trained staff in riot gear were ready to be deployed.

Ultimately, this was not necessary and the prisoners were all returned to their cells by noon.

Last night, sources said the package was believed to have contained cannabis and tablets.

In the latest figures released by the Irish Prison Service last month, it emerged that 163 mobile phones have been seized already this year in Mountjoy.

The tally accounts for more than 40pc of the 379 phones intercepted at 13 jails around the country.

Mountjoy also had the largest number of drug discoveries, 213, up to last month.

Mountjoy holds some of Ireland's most dangerous prisoners, including members of the deadly Kinahan cartel, who are housed on a special landing.

It also contains members of the notorious Dundon crime gang from Limerick.

Bust

After a major bust against them in Portlaoise Prison last May, killer brothers Wayne and Dessie Dundon were moved to Mountjoy and placed in the Challenging Behaviour Unit (CBU) as punishment.

Gardai were not called to yesterday's incident, and it is understood that a number of prisoners will be disciplined in the coming days in relation to the stand-off.

Criminal charges may also be pursued.

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