herald

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Killer Dwyer keeps own solo cell as inmates are forced to sleep on floor

Sicko Graham Dwyer is serving a life sentence for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara, whose remains were found in the Dublin mountains in 2013
Sicko Graham Dwyer is serving a life sentence for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara, whose remains were found in the Dublin mountains in 2013

Graham Dwyer has a prison cell to himself while other inmates are being forced to sleep on the floor, the Herald can reveal.

The sick killer, who is described as a model prisoner, is being held at the overcrowded Midlands Prison.

Dwyer (46) is currently focused on appealing against his conviction for murdering Elaine O'Hara (36) in August 2012.

Her remains were found at Killakee in the Dublin mountains more than a year after she went missing.

Dwyer, who pleaded not guilty to her murder at his 2015 trial, was given a life sentence on conviction.

Since then, the former architect has been trying to overturn that conviction, and recently won a High Court ruling that his privacy had been compromised during garda investigations.

Leapfrog

The High Court ruling concerns the use of mobile phone data at Dwyer's murder trial.

However, the State is set to appeal against that decision.

It has begun a "leapfrog" case that will bypass the Court of Appeal and go straight to the Supreme Court in an effort to overturn the High Court ruling.

Dwyer is concerned that the State's appeal against his High Court privacy victory could delay his murder conviction appeal until next year.

Elaine O’Hara
Elaine O’Hara

While he concentrates on his case, he has decided that being alone in his Midlands Prison cell - which has bunk beds - is preferable to sharing.

"His choice is being facilitated by management," said a source.

"He's keeping out of trouble and has managed to stay in a single cell while many others are sleeping on the floor.

"The view would be that lifers get first choice over single cells, but in times of overcrowding they should double-up.

"That would avoid other prisoners having to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

"Maybe Dwyer feels he's different from the rest of the prison population, but numbers are high in the jail, with three now sharing some cells.

"That means two prisoners sleeping in bunk beds while the third inmate sleeps on a mattress on the floor."

While Dwyer is not keen on sharing his cell, he does mix with a small group of fellow inmates and plays cards, talks about their legal appeals and chats about movies.

He was said to be "jubilant" in the days after he won his High Court challenge to the State's use of mobile phone data during his 2015 murder trial.

The judgment has been seen as a major boost to his pending appeal against his conviction for the murder of childcare worker Elaine.

However, legal experts have said it should not be seen as a guarantee he will win his appeal.

The problem of overcrowding was raised at last month's Prison Officers' Association (POA) conference.

Bully

"Prisoners sleeping on mattresses on floors is becoming an all too common sight again, yet our open centres remain below capacity," POA president Tony Power told delegates.

"Taking one landing at the Midlands, initially designed to hold 38 prisoners, it regularly has prisoner numbers in excess of 65, and this is mirrored in many of the prisons.

"Overcrowding provides the perfect atmosphere for the bully to thrive and exert huge pressure on vulnerable prisoners, in particular to trafficking contraband, including weapons and illegal drugs.

"Serious violence is often part of the scenario here, and we prison officers pay the inevitable price.

"Overcrowding puts both prisoners and prison officers at unnecessary risk, and this is totally unacceptable."

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