Monday 18 June 2018

Strict new system in place at Mountjoy Prison to deal with cartel inmates

Dublin's Mountjoy Prison
Dublin's Mountjoy Prison
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Strict new security arrangements have been implemented in Mountjoy Prison.

The jail, which houses imprisoned members of the Kinahan cartel as well as many other high-profile criminals, is on virtual shutdown from 8pm until 8am, and nobody can move without being monitored and recorded on camera.

Prison officers have not been given any reasons why the new strict measures have been put in place, but sources say it is felt that there are so many Kinahan associates in the jail that they could be plotting and orchestrating future crimes.

There are new regimes in place regarding entering at the front gate, where nobody can come in until their identity is verified at nearby Mountjoy Garda Station.

The garda station then contacts the prison to confirm the identities of the people seeking to gain access.

However, they are still only allowed in while being monitored on camera.

New rules also apply if unlocking a prisoner during the night.

Three staff and an assistant chief officer are now involved in each unlocking, again all monitored by cameras until the prisoner is back in his cell.

Housing members of opposing factions has posed a logistical difficulty for the Irish Prison Service.

In the case of the Kinahan-Hutch feud, which has now claimed 15 lives, the difficulties have meant separating them into different prisons.

The Kinahan faction prisoners are in Mountjoy, while members of the Hutch family and their associates are mainly held in Wheatfield Prison, on the other side of the city.

The Herald previously highlighted how prison officers have had to colour-code prisoner files and cell doors as a means of grouping inmates safely.

Speaking at the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) conference in Galway last year, assistant general secretary  Gabriel Keaveney said the number of prisoners on protection is rising all the time and becoming increasingly problematic.

“It gets so problematic that you have to put a different colour card outside their door,” he said.

“So, the reds can mix with the blues and not the yellows. The greens are OK with the blues and not the rest. It’s insane.”

Herald

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