A man serving a jail sentence for robbing a taxi driver sprayed two prison officers with his own blood after they intercepted a parcel of drugs that was handed to him by a visitor while he was in hospital.
Brendan Boylan (35), of Bangor Road, Crumlin, was under escort to the Mater Hospital yesterday morning when the incident took place.
He had been brought from Mountjoy Prison to the emergency department and had a needle inserted in his hand.
While he was being treated, the officers spotted somebody passing a large number of tablets to Boylan as he lay on a trolley.
The officers immediately became suspicious and tried to confiscate the drugs, but Boylan is believed to have become violent.
"He became aggressive and abusive, and pulled the cannula (needle) from his arm and two prison officers were sprayed with blood," a source told the Herald.
"They managed to restrain him and called the prison for more staff to help deal with the situation.
"As they were bringing him back to the prison he struggled with the officers, kicking one in the leg."
The Irish Prison Service said it could not comment on individual incidents.
Boylan was sentenced to two-and-a-half years last October for his part in the robbery of €600 from a taxi driver in 2012.
He was the back seat passenger in the taxi, and Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told he pulled a rope around the driver's throat as he was robbed at knifepoint by his accomplice in the front passenger seat.
Boylan claimed he was put under pressure to take part in the robbery to repay a drug debt and was in fear of "getting a bullet or a blade".
The prison officers in yesterday's incident were due to undergo tests yesterday for possible infections and were said to be concerned that the blood was from a known drug user.