Inquiry launched after prison officers go 'on the beer' while escorting dangerous criminal

ireland
Inquiry Launched After Prison Officers Go 'On The Beer' While Escorting Dangerous Criminal
The incident occurred earlier this month, and involved the escort of a prisoner involved in gangland crime from Portlaoise Prison to the Criminal Courts of Justice building in Dublin.
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Four prison officers are under investigation after three of them “went on the beer” during the escort of a dangerous gangland criminal to and from court.

The incident occurred earlier this month, and involved the escort of a prisoner involved in gangland crime from Portlaoise Prison to the Criminal Courts of Justice building in Dublin.

Multiple sources told the Irish Examiner that three of the officers spent part of the day drinking alcohol in Dublin and all were unfit to drive the prison van back to Portlaoise that evening.

The fourth, who was the senior officer, had to drive the vehicle as a result. The senior officer is normally in charge of the escort, so they should not have been forced to drive.

On the way back to Portlaoise, some of the officers insisted on stopping to visit the toilet but the senior officer refused to do so.

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Stopping in this manner is against the rules of prisoner escort.

The lads are in serious trouble.

This led to an argument with one officer threatening to relieve himself in the van, eventually the senior officer agreed to stop at the popular motorway services at Junction 14, south of Kildare town.

With the senior officer cuffed to the prisoner, the other three officers entered the building to use the toilet.

Sources told the Irish Examiner that the officers also ate at a fast food outlet inside the building.

Management soon became aware of the incident when the officers re-entered the prison as they showed signs of alcohol intake.

Sick leave

The three officers are believed to have gone on sick leave soon after but an investigation into their conduct is ongoing.

The senior officer is also under investigation for the decision to proceed back to Portlaoise rather than request assistance.

“The lads are in serious trouble,” one source said. “They thought they could get away with doing the dog on it with the senior officer, but it didn’t work out well for them.”

The source said there is sympathy among officers for the situation the senior officer is in. The prisoner who was being escorted received a long sentence for a gang-related crime.

CCTV

The number of officers involved in the escort is an indication of how dangerous he was considered within the prison service, normally an escort would consist of two officers.

The investigation into the incident will include CCTV footage of the arrival of the officers at the screening area where all personnel are searched on entry to the prison.

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