The older brother of a young man who was savagely killed in Mountjoy Prison has been arrested by gardai investigating a bizzare firearms incident.
Alfie Douch (37) and eight other people were questioned for several hours after gardai responded to reports of shots being fired at an address in the Ardkeen estate in Cavan town on Friday morning.
Alfie is the older brother of tragic Gary Douch, who was aged 21 when he was beaten to death in Mountjoy jail in August 2006 by sick inmate Stephen Egan.
Egan was later convicted of manslaughter with diminished responsibility for the savage attack in the cell they shared with six other prisoners.
As part of their investigation into Friday’s gun incident, gardai seized a sawn-off shotgun and 80 cartridges. Alfie Douch was one of nine people arrested in relation to the incident. Most of those arrested are from Dublin.
A senior source told The Herald: “This was a very unusual incident - shots were fired from the house but no injured party has come forward.
“Gardai are satisfied that no-one was injured in the shooting - this seems to have been an act of stupid bravado. Officers received a complaint of shots being fired into the air.”
Alfie Douch has multiple previous convictions for driving offences, but he is not considered a criminal. A file on the case is now being prepared for the DPP.
Last month, a report into the death of Alfie’s brother Gary Douch found that it was due to an avoidable “systems” failure, compounded by the non-compliance with or disregard for some of the prison rules, orders and policies. This was found to be the norm.
It said the authorities at Mountjoy and Cloverhill jails at the time must bear considerable responsibility for what had tragically taken place - as their systems had failed to identify and appropriately manage Egan’s risk to others. The report outlined how Douch (21) had been sharing a cell on July 31, 2006 but asked to be moved to a “protection” wing.
He was transferred to a basement cell, sharing it with Egan and five others. His body was found the following morning.
The report also made some criticisms of the Central Mental Hospital as regards the handling of Stephen Egan, including the decision to transfer him from the hospital back to prison two weeks before he killed Douch in a Mountjoy cell.
After the report was published, the head of the prison service said that the chances of a fatal attack on an inmate happening today are very slim.
“Every prisoner who comes into a prison in Ireland comesinto a what we call a committal area,” said director Michael Donnellan.
“They have to stay there for 24 hours.”
In June 2010, another brother of Gary Douch - Glen (26) - was given a seven-year suspended sentence for transporting a pipe bomb at Marigold Court, Darndale, in October 2008.
He pleaded guilty to possessing the improvised device.
Detectives received confidential information about a blue Mazda and followed it to the estate.
They arrested Glen Douch near the scene and called in the Army bomb disposal unit.