A MAN convicted of taking part in gang raping a woman has been found hanged in his prison cell.
Gardai have ruled out foul play in the death of Dean Barry, who was found unconscious in his cell in Limerick Prison at around lunchtime yesterday.
Mr Barry (24) was on remand at the prison after being charged with an arson attack in which he allegedly set fire to his house with his mother and girlfriend inside it.
A source at the prison confirmed that Barry had been sharing a cell with his brother Mark, who is serving a sentence for robbery.
The source said that Mark (21), from Garryglass Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston, Limerick, was distraught after being told that his older brother was dead.
"He was found by prison staff hanging by a sheet next to a bed in his cell. He received first aid by staff and then by paramedics. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital where he was given more first aid. He was pronounced dead at the hospital," the source added.
It's understood Barry had left a note, saying goodbye to his family and apologising for his past crimes.
Barry pleaded not guilty on October 18, 2011, at Limerick District Court to setting fire to a mattress in his house.
On the same day he was charged with assaulting a man by hitting him over the head with a glass bottle, smashing the bottle and sticking it in the man's face.
On September 29, 2011, Barry was also charged with assaulting a woman in Limerick city.
On September 8, 2011, he was given a suspended two-month jail sentence after terrorising staff and patients at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.
He pleaded guilty to being intoxicated and engaging in threatening and abusive language and behaviour at the hospital on August 11, 2011.
Barry was first jailed for taking part in a vicious gang rape. He was one of four teenage boys and a 25-year-old man convicted of a savage gang rape of a woman and a serious assault on a man in her company at woods in Cratloe, Co Clare, in January 2004.
Barry, Thomas O'Neill (16), from Lenihan Avenue; Darragh Ryan (16), from Ballinacurra Weston; Jason Ring (14), from Crecora Avenue, Ballinacurra Weston; and 25-year-old Stephen Barry of Roxboro Road, Limerick, each raped the woman. Barry was 16 when he committed the crime.
The five were armed with a screwdriver, a wheel brace and a shovel when they subjected the woman and her male companion to 45 minutes of horror.
They ordered the man into the boot of the couple's car and from inside the boot the man heard the gang shout, "my turn next".
The woman was dragged into the car and the gang took turns raping her while they threatened to burn the car with the man in the boot if she resisted.
Barry had served five years of an eight-year sentence for the sex crime when he when he was released. He returned to Limerick from Dublin in October 2010.
The following November he was jailed for four months for public-order offences and for failing to inform gardai of his address after been placed on the national sex offenders' register.