Friday 19 January 2018

Prison guard accused of dealing cocaine and cannabis

A prison officer accused of smuggling cannabis and cocaine into Mountjoy is expected to face further charges, a court was told today.

Jarlath Walsh, from north Dublin, was stopped during a routine search going in to work at the jail yesterday morning and was arrested.

The 39 year old appeared before Dublin District Court on two charges of possession of drugs and two charges of possession with intent to supply.

Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin granted the prison officer bail for eight weeks.

Detective Garda Fergal O'Flaherty told the court: "It is envisaged there will be further charges."

The judge told Walsh not to contact any prison staff at Mountjoy before his next court appearance on February 15. He was also told to sign on at a local Garda station and surrender his passport.

Other bail conditions included a €1,000 bond from Walsh and an independent surety of €5,000, agreed by Walsh's father James.

The prison officer's solicitor Yvonne Bambury warned his father: "You will lose your money if he fails to appear."

Walsh was stopped and searched at the entrance gates to Mountjoy prison at around 7.30am yesterday.

Authorities said they found 450g (1lb) of cannabis and quantities of cocaine, prescription drugs, heroin and skunk, a more potent form of cannabis.

So far, Walsh is only charged with possession of, and possession with intent to supply, cocaine and cannabis.

All prison staff are searched on the way into jails, according to the Irish Prison Service.

The Prison Officers Association said it would not comment on the case but said any of its members found to be trafficking drugs will have no support from the organisation.

Press Association

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