A FORMER doctor at Castlerea Prison has criticised plans to introduce a methadone programme in the facility within weeks.
Castlerea prison is the only medium security prison in the country that was considered heroin free because it did not have a methadone clinic. Prisoners with heroin addictions needing treatment were housed at other facilities.
Now a GP who worked with inmates for 13 years has warned that the move to introduce methadone to the prison will be a "retrograde" step.
NEW ARTS COUNCIL
SIX leading figures in the cultural sector have waived their fees to take on key roles with the Arts Council.
A new chair and five new members were announced yesterday by Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan. Sheila Pratschke, former director of the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, has been appointed as the chairperson designate, her position to be confirmed following an upcoming appearance before the Oireachtas Committee.
BAILEY PAPERS REQUEST
THE Garda Commissioner and the State want a range of documents from Ian Bailey for their defence of his legal action over the handling of the investigation into the murder of French film maker Sophie Toscan du Plantier in west Cork in 1996.
Mr Bailey's partner Jules Thomas, who has brought a separate case for damages arising from the manner of her arrest in the course of the investigation, has also been asked to provide further details of her claim, the High Court heard yesterday.
ACTOR GETS TRIAL DATE
HARDY Bucks star Martin Maloney, who denies attacking two security men while he was making an appearance at a pub in Dublin, will stand trial in May.
The 30-year-old actor, from Bollingbrook Drive, Swinford, Co Mayo, has pleaded not guilty to two assault charges following an alleged row with bouncers about a queue to toilets at The Big Tree pub. The non-jury trial at Dublin District Court is to take place on May 6 next.
DRUGS SEIZED AT PORT
Customs officers have seized a haul of ecstasy and cannabis, with a street value of over €63,000. They found the drugs after searching a car, which had arrived on a ferry into Rosslare Europort from Cherbourg.
The drugs were concealed under the back seat of the vehicle. Two Polish men were arrested and were being questioned last night at Wexford garda station.