Convicted serial killer Mark Nash has stopped eating and has been hospitalised due to concerns about his health, a court heard.
President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told yesterday that the authorities are currently considering Nash's application to be transferred from the Midlands Prison back to Arbour Hill Prison.
He wants to go back to Arbour Hill because he has already served 15 years there of a life sentence for the 1997 murder of two people in Co Roscommon.
The judge was told Nash admitted to authorities he had hidden the fact he has not taken any food since June 9. The court was also told a psychiatric report said Nash is suicidal. He is currently in hospital.
Last April, Nash (42) was given another life sentence after he was found guilty of the separate murders of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callanan (61) in Dublin, also in 1997. That sentence is to run from the date of his sentencing.
He was taken to Mountjoy Prison. But Nash sought to be returned to Arbour Hill, claiming he was under 23-hour lock-up at Mountjoy and his life was under threat from other prisoners. After the application for transfer back to Arbour Hill was refused, Nash brought High Court proceedings. Since the action was launched in May, he has been moved to the Midlands Prison.
Judge Kearns was told by Robert Barron SC, for the Justice Minister, there had been "a major development" in the case.
This was that Nash had admitted he had not been eating, despite the fact he was placed in an special observation cell in mid-July to make sure that he was eating, counsel said.
As a result of this, and a psychiatric report, the authorities are reconsidering Nash's application for a transfer.
Hugh Hartnett SC, for Nash, expressed concerns about the "perilous situation" of his client, who has lost three to four stone in weight.
Judge Kearns, after considering submissions from counsel, adjourned the matter to Tuesday.