A DANGEROUS killer was still on the run last night after escaping from the custody of prison officers.
Gardai issued a nationwide alert after Christopher Doyle (39) disappeared during a visit to his seriously ill father in St James's Hospital in Dublin last Wednesday.
Doyle has a number of convictions for violent attacks on elderly people, including beating a Co Meath farmer to death in 2000.
He is serving prison sentences for dangerous driving causing bodily harm and a number of robberies.
Doyle, who is described as being extremely dangerous, gave prison warders the slip when he went to the toilet during the hospital visit and escaped through a window.
It was still unclear last night if he had planned the escape and whether he had an accomplice. Gardai have been talking to Doyle's family and friends in a bid to track him down.
Officers have also been studying CCTV to trace his movements when he left the hospital grounds.
It is understood that he had been granted compassionate temporary release to visit his father in the company of at least one prison officer.
Apart from the garda investigation, the Prison Service has also launched an internal inquiry to ascertain how Doyle made his escape. They will try to establish why he was not handcuffed at the time.
The violent thug, who has a reputation for attacking and robbing elderly people in their homes, was jailed in 2002 along with his brother for the manslaughter of pensioner Paddy Logan.
Christopher and John Doyle demanded money and beat Mr Logan and his brother Peter, when they broke into the home of the two elderly bachelor farmers in June 2000.
Paddy Logan died as a result of his injuries and Peter was also badly injured. The Doyles made off with just €50 and their brutal attack shocked the nation. Christopher got 12 years and his brother 15 years.
Locals in Castlejordan, Co Meath, where the brothers lived at the time of the attack, said that the house was sold shortly afterwards.