Tuesday 21 November 2017

Killer Douglas Ward died after night drinking 'hooch' in prison cell

He was shouting 'Yee-ha! I'll be drunk tonight'

Douglas Ward, an inmate at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin was serving a 10-year sentence for the manslaughter of Niall Dorr in Dundalk on October 13, 2010. Stock Image

Louise Roseingrave

A convicted killer who died after drinking hooch was heard singing in his prison cell shortly before his death, an inquest heard.

Douglas Ward, an inmate at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin was serving a 10-year sentence for the manslaughter of Niall Dorr in Dundalk on October 13, 2010.

Ward, from Knockbridge, Co Louth, was found unresponsive in his cell at 6.30am on the basement floor of the prison on May 8, 2015. The man's nephew Leonard Ward, also an inmate, spoke to his uncle shortly before lock-up at 7.30pm the previous night.

"He was shouting 'Yee-ha! I'll be drunk tonight'. I shouted back save me some of that hooch. Later I heard him shouting 'Tiocfaidh ár lá' and singing," he said in his deposition.

Douglas Ward
Douglas Ward

Prison officer Shane Horgan said he saw nothing to indicate Ward was "under the influence of anything" at lock up time.

"With hooch - the prison term for alcohol - you have a distinct smell and I didn't get the smell of any alcohol.

"Hooch would be a homemade form of alcohol. It is present in the prison, it is produced but it's prohibited," Mr Horgan said.

Ward was checked through the night every hour by prison staff.

Niall Dorr
Niall Dorr

At 6.30am, prison officer Horgan noticed the prisoner did not stir when he knocked. He brought two more prison officers to enter the cell.

"When you went in you could get a smell of the alcohol hooch," Mr Horgan said.

Ward was cold, pale and unresponsive. He was pronounced dead by Dr Edward Cox at 8.56am.

The jury returned a verdict of death by misadventure.

Irish Independent

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