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It's ice-cream Sunday for our prisoners

SOME of Ireland's most hardened criminals – gangland bosses, murderers and other cons – are big softies when it comes to their prison meals, enjoying an ice-cream treat on a Sunday.

Menus from a week in March show that lags in Mountjoy Prison were among those served ice-cream that month.

New figures show that the Irish Prison Service last year paid food firms €8.3m for providing meals to inmates.


Other prisons serving ice-cream as a treat for Sunday lunch on March 23 were Portlaoise, Cork, Shelton Abbey and Castlerea.

It had followed a main course of chicken supreme with pepper sauce, turnip and roast potatoes.

Porridge was served to prisoners that morning along with fresh fruit.

The menus from that March week show convicts receive fresh fruit every morning for breakfast along with cereal. During the week, they had Weetabix on a Tuesday, cornflakes on a Wednesday and Rice Crispies on a Thursday.

For lunch on Tuesday, March 18, prisoners tucked into pasta bolognaise with mixed vegetables followed by fresh yoghurt for dessert.

That evening, they enjoyed a turkey salad for tea.

The following day, cornflakes were served with fresh fruit for breakfast, and there was coddle made up of sliced sausages, rashers, potatoes and onions and this was served along with mixed veg.

Inmates received fresh fruit for dessert and later a bun burger and coleslaw for tea.

Bread is not included in the menus provided, but separate figures provided by the Department of Justice show that last year the Prison Service paid a combined total of €390,000 to two well-known bread firms, with Johnston Mooney & O'Brien receiving €224,985 and Pat the Baker Ltd receiving €165,681.


Figures obtained under Freedom of Information show that last year Limerick-based Pallas Foods Ltd billed for €2.48m, with Glanbia Consumer Foods receiving €1.8m.

Two other firms to receive more than €1m included Horeca Foodservices which received €1.37m and Crossgar Foodservice Ltd which received €1.134m.