Wednesday 22 November 2017

Probe as 'Shawshank' inspired tunnel escape plot foiled at city prison

The poster scene in the film
The poster scene in the film

Two inmates caught tunneling their way out of Cloverhill Prison modelled their escape on tactics learned from the hit prison escape movie The Shawshank Redemption.

Sources confirmed yesterday that the Polish pair used posters to cover up tunnelling work carried out on the walls in and around the windows of their cells.

A high-level investigation is now under way in the prison after officers discovered one of the pair, a former ex-special forces war veteran, in the midst of preparing his escape.

The 42-year-old veteran of the Bosnian conflict, who previously served four years in prison after being caught smuggling €80,000-worth of cannabis into the State, was rumbled mid-way through the attempt while in his cell earlier this week.

When officers tore down the posters around the window, they discovered the inmate had been gouging out the concrete around the window.

This inmate cannot be identified as he is currently before the courts on separate charges.

A forensic search of the cell later uncovered a number of plans and lists associated with two separate escape routes for him to follow once he made it out of the prison.


"The information included a list of names of people who would help when he contacted him on the outside and a list of safe-houses,'' a source revealed:

"Two possible escape routes were also laid out.

"One of the routes would have involved him travelling to court and escaping the country by boat.

"The second route would have seen him travel north and escape the country via that route."

The Sunday World, who first broke the story, reports that prison authorities believe the ex-special forces soldier was in cahoots with another inmate of the same nationality, who planned on joining the war veteran in his escape.

The area around the window in this individual's cell had also been tampered with. The ex-special forces man previously spent four years in prisons here after being caught driving while over the limit.

A subsequent search of his car after it was impounded revealed the presence of two bags of cannabis with a total of seven kgs of the drug inside.

The value of the drugs exceeded €80,000.

Both inmates involved in the plot have now been placed in isolation in separate prisons.

Sources say the list of safe-houses and potential helpers has now been handed over to gardai for investigation.


In the 1994 film, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, Robbins' character Andy Dufresne digs a tunnel from his prison wall in a span of 22 years with a small rock hammer.

He covers up the hole he uses to escape, with a poster of screen siren Raquel Welch.

The massive hole in his cell opens up into a narrow hall of pipes, allowing him to escape to the prison's sewers, which lead to the outside world and freedom.

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