herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

Thug Rattigan backs 'Fat' Freddie's prison case and says 'bad blood' is finished

Brian Rattigan
Brian Rattigan

Convicted criminal Brian Rattigan believes there is "no bad blood" between him and fellow inmate Freddie Thompson, it has been claimed in the High Court.

Rattigan said relations between the two are good, adding that they had had long conversations in prison, and that their families have met.

The two are now housed together in the same wing in the maximum security Portlaoise Prison and pose no security threat to each other, Rattigan has claimed.

His comments were contained in a statement sworn in support of Thompson's High Court challenge against the prison authorities over what he claims are the oppressive conditions of his detention over the last 18 months in Portlaoise Prison's A-wing.

Rattigan's statement confirmed what Thompson said in an earlier statement grounding his judicial review proceedings against the Prison Service, the Prison Governor and the Minister for Justice.

The respondents have opposed Thompson's action and the court previously heard his current prison regime derives from "security concerns".

Thompson's case was due to be heard earlier this month but was adjourned as lawyers sought time to consider submissions made by the State respondents.

Hearing

Yesterday Keith Spencer counsel for Thompson told Mr Justice Seamus Noonan that it is his side's case that Rattigan's statement renders the respondent's case "untenable".

As a result, the case could be adjourned to a date next month, rather than have a new hearing date fixed, counsel said.

In his sworn statement, Rattigan (39) said he has been in prison on and off since 2003 and that from experience, the restricted prison regime that Thompson is under is inhumane by comparison to incarceration within the general prison population.

‘Fat’ Freddie
‘Fat’ Freddie

Rattigan, who said he was due for release in 2021, said any notion Thompson cannot be moved out of the punishment block in Portlaoise because "I represent a threat to him or that we are a threat to each other is false".

Housing them in the same block, he said, would not create any tension or security concern. Rattigan, who has convictions for manslaughter and possession of drugs for sale and supply, also said that after being in prison for so long he hopes the prison service will comply with their obligations to reintegrate him into society.

"I have spent most of my life in prison, and I will not do anything to extend my time in prison or jeopardise my release date. Regardless of what people may think, I am a changed man," he said.

Thompson (39), from Dublin's south inner city, is serving a life sentence he received last year after his conviction at the Special Criminal Court for the murder of David Douglas in 2016.

He has been held in Wing A4, known as the punishment block, since March 2018.

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