• Nearly 400 litres of home-made alcohol was seized in Irish prisons last year.

    Mountjoy prison in Dublin was the worst offender.

    According to freedom of information figures, 395.5 litres of homemade alcohol - or hooch - were seized in Ireland's 12 prisons in 2019.

    It includes seizures made across the jails' estates and other sources, such as security nets and visitors.

    More than a third of the alcohol was recovered from Mountjoy Prison - at 149 litres.

    Castlerea Prison in Co Roscommon is the next worst, at 72 litres.

    Almost 100 litres of alcohol was seized from two prisons in Co Laois - Portlaoise and Midlands Prisons.

    The Dochas women's prison in Dublin was the only jail in the country that had no alcohol seizures last year.

  • A burglar in a high-vis jacket who claimed to be a garda when confronted by a home owner was sentenced to three and half years in prison yesterday.

    The Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court heard that 44-year old Martin Conroy  with an address c/o Castlerea Prison, fled the scene but was later found by Gardai, hiding in a dog kennel at the rear of a nearby house.

    Garda Noelle Doherty told the court that on December 12, 2016, a 72-year-old man discovered the accused in the front room of his house at Chestnut Grove, Castlebar.

    When challenged, Martin Conroy told the injured party he was a member of An Garda Siochána before fleeing the scene chased by his victim.

    Gardaí later discovered the accused hiding in a dog kennel at the rear of his house and arrested him.

    The court was told that Mr Conroy, who has previous convictions for burglary, made full admissions when interviewed by Gardaí.

    Judge Séan O'Donnabhaín said it was a a serious aggravating factor in the case that an elderly man had been confronted in his own home by a man in a high-vis jacket.

    The judge added that Mr Conroy has a 'considerable' history in crime and noted his 'poor record' as regards co-operation with the probation service.

    On the burglary charge, Martin Conroy was sentenced to five years in prisonm with the final 18 months suspended on condition that on release he attends a treatment centre for alcohol addiction.

    A second charge – impersonating a garda – was taken into consideration.

    The prison term was backdated to January 17 last when he was first taken into custody.



  • Two men have appeared in court this week charged with conveying drugs into Castlerea Prison.

    The Irish Times reports that John Kennedy, Castleburn, Ballymote Co Sligo is charged with unlawful possession of PVP at Ballisodare Post Office on April 9th 2015.

    He is also charged with conveying the drug into Castlerea Prison on a date between April 9th and April 10th, 2015.

    The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges at yesterday’s sitting of Sligo Circuit Court.

    His co-accused, Brian Duke, of Cois Abhann, Collooney, Co Sligo is charged with unlawful possession of PVP on a date between February 1st and April 9th at Cois Abhann.

    He is also charged with conveying the drug into Castlerea Prison on a date between February 1th and April 10th, 2015. Mr Duke also pleaded not guilty to the two charges.

    The case was due to begin yesterday before a jury of eight men and four women, but has now been put back to next Monday, after some legal issues arose.

  • A homeless woman, who tried to help her brother get away with murder, is back in prison after breaching the conditions of her suspended sentence.

    Janice Brady, with a last address at Maryville Hostel, Finisklin, Sligo, pleaded with the judge to let her serve what's left of her sentence.

    Keith Brady, from Cartron Estate in Sligo, murdered Matt Kivlehan in August 2018, and is now serving a life sentence for it after being convicted last year.

    Mr Kivlehan, a well-known musician, was found in his apartment in Sligo with obvious stab wounds.

    Keith Brady's sister, Janice, admitted trying to help her brother by staging the scene in the hope gardaí would think he had died by suicide.

    The trial heard a knife was carefully placed near his neck.

    She was jailed for four years, but at the end of last year, the balance of her sentence was suspended on condition she stayed with her father in Donegal.

    She failed to comply and has been charged with over 30 new offences.

    When she was brought back before Mr J Michael White today, she told him she felt 'smothered by the system" and wanted to move on with her life without having her sentence hanging over her head.

    Mr White directed that she be sent back to prison to serve the remainder of her sentence.