Sunday 19 January 2020

Mother of man serving life in prison says prison tuck shop is too expensive

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Ryan O'Rourke

A woman whose son (26) is serving life in prison for killing a man in his sixties has criticised the price of goods in the prison shop.

The woman, who only shared her first name, Mary, spoke on Liveline where she criticised the price of items such as coke and tobacco.

"A two litre of bottle of coke out here will cost you around €2, in there the biggest one you can get is a one litre and it will cost you €3.

"Things like the shampoo are double the price in there than what you would buy in Deals," she said.

The woman, who didn’t want to be named for fear of damaging the chances of her son’s appeal, claims the prices prisoners are being charged are unfair.

"They used to do the smaller packets of tobacco, and it only used to be €5, but now they’ve gone up in price to €15.

"The money I was leaving in, he said he wouldn’t have enough to get his tobacco and shower gel and stuff like that, so you have to leave extra money in or they have to go without," she said.

Mary’s son is serving life in prison for killing a man aged in his 60s.

She has also criticised the lack of activities for her son to do in prison.

"Where he is, there is nothing for him to do, there’s no school, no nothing at all. It’s like his brain is going dead or something.

"Every time you ring, you can’t ask him what he’s doing, because all he can say is ‘sitting on the landing’," she said.

She claims that the lack of stimulation is damaging her son’s mental health.

"He cracks up in there because he has nothing to do, it’s the same thing day in day out," she said.

Mary has described the murder as "a night out that went wrong" and said she could barely even look at her son afterwards.

Despite this, she is standing by her son, who is claiming he is innocent.

Mary says her son was part of a crowd, and was convicted unfairly as part of that group. She told Liveline what her son said to her while in prison.

According to his mum, he said: "If I did it, I’d put my hands up and say I did it, and I’d spend the rest of my life in here and I wouldn’t mind that because I’d know I did wrong."

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