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Festive jail riot leader behind 2005 violence

THE RINGLEADER behind a violent Christmas riot in Mountjoy Prison orchestrated a similar seasonal fracas behind bars four years earlier.

The man, in his early 20s, was a key player in jail violence which saw one inmate stabbed and four prison officers injured in the jail on December 27 last.

He is regarded as one of the State's most violent prisoners and is a close pal of Dublin criminal Leroy Dumbrell (22), a serial offender who also has a history of violence behind bars.

The Christmas ringleader cannot be named for legal reasons, but he was a key player in a previous disturbance which took place at St Patrick's Institution on St Stephen's Day, 2005. A number of prison officers were attacked and injured in that fracas.

The most recent violence occurred on the B wing of the prison on December 27, when 10 prisoners became involved in a faction fight, believed to have been caused by a row over stolen contraband that had been smuggled into the prison.

During the row an inmate was stabbed with an improvised knife. Neither Dumbrell nor the ringleader carried out the stabbing. The suspect is now set to face questioning by gardai.

The violence erupted at 11am on Sunday, December 27, when the stabbing took place and two groups began to fight directly afterwards.

Staff were on the scene in seconds and managed to quell the violence, but four prison officers required hospital treatment after the inmates turned on them. One had a broken arm, one a head injury, and the two remaining officers suffered lacerations. All are expected to make full recoveries.

Following the riot, 10 inmates were transferred from Mountjoy Prison to five other jails nationwide, in punishment for their roles in the violence.

The Herald understands that rank and file prison officers have long argued to have Dumbrell separated from the riot ringleader. Tensions in the prison have dropped considerably since a number of rioters were moved in the 24 hours after the violence.

The group of rioters are affiliated to two separate groupings within the prison, one from the Crumlin area and one from Finglas.

The December 27 violence was the second recent confrontation between the two groups.

In November, two inmates were attacked with knives in violence at the prison. Two inmates from Finglas were injured in the November incident, which also occurred in the B wing of the prison.