Child rapist held in Midlands jail for own safety
The rapist given two life sentences for the brutal attacks on two young girls will serve his terms under protection in the Midlands prison in Portlaoise.
The man was taken to Mountjoy jail immediately after the sentences were handed down at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin on Monday.
But last night the prison authorities decided to transfer him to Portlaoise and he was taken there under escort.
His solicitor Gearoid Geraghty said the man is likely to appeal the severity of the sentence.
He has been placed on a landing reserved in the prison for sex offenders and will live in a restricted regime that means he will not be associating with the rest of the inmates.
The action was taken to eliminate the risk of being attacked by other prisoners because of the nature of his crime.
The prison authorities also had the option of moving him to Castlerea prison where he had been held previously without incident.
But the Midlands jail has more facilities for the detention of inmates under protection, either because they are sex offenders or are under threat because of an earlier row behind bars or their participation in a criminal group on the outside.
At least 10pc of the prison population are being held in restricted regimes for their own safety.
Some are locked up 23 hours a day and can only use the exercise yards when the rest of the inmates are elsewhere in the prisons.
The rapist was put on suicide watch after he was committed to Mountjoy jail on Monday afternoon, in accordance with normal prison procedures.
He will remain closely monitored by prison officers for another couple of days but will be allowed to mix freely with other sex offenders on a special landing of the jail.
The rapist had more than 100 criminal convictions previously and had served up to 10 short jail sentences since 2002, the longest of which was for six months.
But he had no previous convictions for sexual offences or targeting children.
His two victims in last year's savage assault were aged six and nine.
The attack took place three days after he had been released from Castlerea where he had served a five-month sentence for assault.
Meanwhile, the man's ex-partner has described the crime as "shocking"
"It is a shocking crime... I never thought he was capable of anything like that."
She added: "I don't want nothing to do with him. He should never get out."