Friday 15 November 2019

'Distracted' Graham Dwyer on suicide watch with officer checks every 15 minutes

Murderer's ring of confidence so evident during sensational trial fades as reality bites

Graham Dwyer
Graham Dwyer

Jim Cusack

Graham Dwyer is again on 24-hour suicide watch as the cockiness and confidence evident during his trial gave way to signs of 'distraction' last week, prison sources say.

He was said at one stage last week to be talking to himself and having difficulty concentrating on reading, his main pastime since being first remanded in jail after his arrest in October 2013.

SELF-HARM: Graham Dwyer is led away after his conviction for murder. Photo: Gerry Mooney
SELF-HARM: Graham Dwyer is led away after his conviction for murder. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Dwyer was initially said to have been in an upbeat mood and was talking confidently about an appeal against conviction in the two days after being found guilty by unanimous verdict last Friday week. Before and during his 45-day trial, he joked with prison guards in jail and while being escorted to and from prison that he would be acquitted.

He told guards he was 'in the clear now' as he was brought to hear the jury verdict before being returned to Cloverhill. He also mused about a good restaurant for a "steak dinner and a glass of wine" on his first night of freedom. Sources said that Dwyer regularly told guards during his trial that it was 'going well' and that he was very confident of acquittal.

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It has been determined by prison medics that Dwyer was in denial about his circumstances. His conviction last Friday week appeared to have come as an initial shock but sources said he regained his composure the following morning and was 'calm' and in apparent good form for a visit by his father.

Garda sources last week commented that it was no surprise to them that Dwyer had shown no remorse since his conviction.

Although apparently upbeat about a possible appeal against conviction, Dwyer's behaviour last week was beginning to cause concern for staff and he was placed on suicide watch. A warder checks on him at 15-minute intervals during lock-up and he is kept under close supervision when on 'recreation'.

He is in the prison's 'D' Division which houses inmates who are vulnerable either through self-harm or because they are targets for other prisoners.

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Cloverhill, built in 1999, is the busiest prison in the country, processing upwards of 4,000 inmates a year mostly on remand or serving low to medium sentences. Dwyer has received some mail but nothing particularly lurid, according to sources yesterday. Some of the mail offering "support" may have been sent as a prank, the sources said.

The sources said it was well known within the prison service that prisoners involved in high profile, sensational cases receive 'fan' mail. The notoriety surrounding the case has meant that during his continued stay in Cloverhill, in Clondalkin in west Dublin, he is under particular supervision.

It is expected he will serve his main term in Arbour Hill in north inner Dublin where he will go after being briefly processed through Mountjoy, the prison where all sentenced prisoners are initially sent before being accommodated for further imprisonment.

Sunday Independent

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