Man found in possession of two phones in his Mountjoy cell jailed for one year

Man Found In Possession Of Two Phones In His Mountjoy Cell Jailed For One Year Man Found In Possession Of Two Phones In His Mountjoy Cell Jailed For One Year
Holland had denied the charge but he later changed his plea ahead of a hearing date. Photo: PA.
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Tom Tuite

A Dublin criminal has been jailed for a year for possessing two contraband mobile phones hidden in his Mountjoy Prison cell while serving a lengthy term for drugs and firearms offences.

Following an investigation by the Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Glen Holland (40), of Rory O'Connor House, Hardwicke Street, Dublin 1, was charged with unlawfully possessing a mobile phone in Mountjoy prison from August 7th to 28th, 2020.

One of his co-defendants was convicted Garda-killer Aaron Brady, now awaiting a separate trial.

Holland's case resumed at Dublin District Court level on Tuesday.

Earlier, he denied the charge and was due to face a trial with 20 prosecution witnesses. However, he changed his plea ahead of the hearing date.


In evidence, Detective Garda Paul O'Hara told the court that Holland's cell was searched twice in August 2020.


At the time, he was serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence for drugs and firearms offences, including possession of two 9mm handguns.

The detective said that on August 7th, a prison officer entered his cell on D-wing and saw a Samsung Galaxy phone on the floor.

It was confiscated and the Prison Service moved Holland to another cell which gardaí searched on August 27.

They found a Huawei mobile phone hidden in a sock in a bowl, stashed in insulation behind the sink unit in that cell. Holland's DNA was on both phones.

The detective agreed with prosecution counsel David Perry that gardaí analysed them and found a message to Holland's partner on the second phone.

He was asking her to get his "WhatsApp call history remotely wiped".

He was interviewed, but nothing of evidential value was gleaned.

The court heard he had 25 previous criminal convictions, including four offences for possessing a mobile phone in prison during his last jail sentence.

His older offences included public order burglary and driving offences.

Judge John Hughes heard Holland was released from prison in August 2020.


Pleading for leniency, defence solicitor John Quinn said the phones were seized during the Covid pandemic when Holland he had wanted to keep in touch with his son.


He said it was "a difficult time" and there were just family pictures on the phones, the court heard.

Holland was anxious to support his son and has not come to further guard attention, the court heard.

The solicitor said Holland did not want to return to custody, and he invited the judge to consider community service or a suspended sentence.

However, Judge Hughes imposed two consecutive six-month sentences.

Sentencing, he remarked that there was a good reason why possessing mobile phones in prisons are the subject of legislation. He fixed recognisance in his bond of €500 in the event of an appeal.

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The Director of Public Prosecutions directed that his case should be dealt with at the district court level, but two co-defendants were sent for trial to the Special Criminal Court.

While awaiting sentence, Mr Holland has been warned he cannot have contact with them "including by any electronic means".

The co-defendants were Aaron Brady (31), of New Road, Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, and Dean Byrne (29), from Cabra Park, Phibsborough, Dublin. Last year, both were returned for trial to the Special Criminal Court.

They were accused of plotting to pervert the course of justice in connection with Brady's 2020 trial, which led to him being handed a life sentence for the murder of Detective Garda Adrian Donohoe during a robbery at Lordship Credit Union in Co. Louth in 2013.

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