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Killer Rattigan settles prison 'solitary' row

A HIGH Court challenge by convicted murderer Brian Rattigan over a decision to detain him alone in the Portlaoise Prison segregation unit has been settled.

Rattigan (29), Cooley Road, Drimnagh, Dublin, was found guilty last December at the Central Criminal Court of murdering Declan Gavin (21), below, of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, in August 2001 and was given a life sentence.

A direction to detain him alone in the segregation unit of Portlaoise Prison was made on February 11.

He then secured leave to bring judicial review proceedings against the governor of Portlaoise and against the State over the direction.

Rattigan claimed the direction was made as a result of information received by the governor that his (Rattigan's) behaviour would result in a significant threat to the maintenance of good order in the prison.

Made under Rule 62 (1) of the Prison Rules 2007, the direction ordered his removal from structured activity and association and required he be detained in segregation in punitive conditions.

The case was mentioned briefly yesterday before Mr Justice John Hedigan, who was told the case had been settled. No details were revealed to the court.


In his action, Rattigan sought an order that he be reinstated to the conditions of detention he enjoyed in the prison prior to February 11.

He said the decision to place him in the segregation unit amounts to a punishment for something he has not been convicted of and is therefore a breach of the presumption of innocence.

He was also seeking a number of declarations, including that the direction breached his rights under the Constitution and European Convention of Human Rights.