Wednesday 21 February 2018

Prisoners left high and dry as 900 pints of 'hooch' seized

In the past four years, authorities have seized almost 6,500 pints of hooch from inmates throughout the prison network. Stock Image
In the past four years, authorities have seized almost 6,500 pints of hooch from inmates throughout the prison network. Stock Image

Darragh McDonagh

Nearly 875 pints of homemade alcohol, or "hooch", was confiscated from prisoners in jails around the country last year, new figures have revealed.

The potent homebrew is made by inmates using a number of basic ingredients including water, sugar, fruit and bread. The mix is then kept hidden in cells until it ferments.

In the past four years, authorities have seized almost 6,500 pints of hooch from inmates throughout the prison network.

Last year, the largest quantity of the illegal homebrew was seized at Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon, where the equivalent of 226 pints was confiscated by prison officers. A total of 200 pints was seized at Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, where detainees include twisted murderer Graham Dwyer and convicted serial killer Mark Nash. Prisoners at Cork Prison were forced to surrender more than 160 pints of hooch during 2016, while a further 116 pints was seized by the authorities at Portlaoise Prison.

Hooch, or "prison wine", can be extremely potent. Prison brewing is a dangerous process that has been known to cause outbreaks of botulism.

Irish Independent

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