Killer 'Fat' Freddie has gone back to school behind bars
Convicted killer 'Fat' Freddie Thompson is being allowed regular contact with four other inmates and has started school at Portlaoise Prison, the High Court has been told.
Thompson has brought a High Court challenge over what he claims is the extremely oppressive and severe regime he is being subjected to at the maximum-security prison.
Thompson (39), from Dublin's south inner city, is serving a life sentence he received last year following his conviction at the Special Criminal Court for murdering David Douglas in 2016.
Thompson is being held on Wing A4 at Portlaoise Prison, which is known as the punishment block. He claims that in breach of his human rights he is allowed contact with only two other prisoners, and spends most of his time effectively on "lock-up" in his cell.
He also claims that he is being denied regular exercise, fresh air and appropriate education which also amounts to a breach of his rights and of prison rules.
Thompson has brought proceedings against the governor of Portlaoise Prison, the Irish Prison Service and the Justice Minister aimed at ending his detention away from the mainstream prison population and giving him better access to the prison's facilities.
The action was mentioned before Mr Justice Richard Humphreys at yesterday's vacation sitting of the High Court.
Thompson's counsel, Padraig Dwyer SC, said the action, which was brought last month, was urgent, and it was hoped that it could be heard and determined as soon as possible.
John Gallagher BL, for the defendants, told the court that a lot of the urgency had gone out of the case.
Counsel said Thompson had claimed that he could associate with only two other prisoners, but that number has now doubled to four.
Counsel said Thompson had also complained about his lack of access to the prison's educational facilities.
Thompson had also started in the prison's school when the new term began earlier this month, counsel added.
The judge adjourned the matter to a date in October when it is hoped the full hearing of Thompson's action can take place.