Sunday 4 December 2016

Investigation launched after thousands of euro taken from prison woodwork scheme

Published 10/04/2016 | 14:19

Wheatfield Prison
Wheatfield Prison

An investigation has been launched after thousands of euro was taken from a prison woodwork scheme.

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A sum thought to be around €2,000, was discovered missing from the kitty at Wheatfield Prison in West Dublin.

Inmates at the jail are currently taking part in the training and work programme to produce hundreds of Rocking Horses and other wooden crafts which are provided free of charge to charities each year.

However, staff members are also allowed to order the toys for their own families, providing they pay the costs for the materials that go into their production. It is a portion of this cash that has vanished.

It’s thought the handmade and detailed items cost in the region of €300 each to produce.

A source said: "The financial irregularities were discovered in the materials fund for woodwork a number of weeks ago.

“Gardaí were made aware of the discrepancies and a Garda investigation is under way."

A source told the Sunday World: “A staff member has put his hands up in relation to the discrepancies and an internal disciplinary procedure is also taking place.”

A spokesperson for The Irish Prison Service confirmed: “An investigation is ongoing and Gardai have been notified.”

This is the latest in a series of thefts by staff members uncovered by the Irish Prison Service

In December last it emerged that €10,000 in bail money was stolen from a clerical office in Limerick Prison.

And in January 2015, €18,000 worth of cigarettes vanished from from Mountjoy Prison’s Tuckshop.

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