A prisoner suspected of the fatal stabbing of an inmate inside Cork Prison had been holding a trusted position within the regime.
The prisoner was today being held in isolation for questioning by Garda detectives in the wake of yesterday’s death of a 41-year-old man in the prison kitchens.
The victim, named locally as Graham Johnson, from Co Cork, was stabbed in the chest at around 5pm after a row broke out.
Mr Johnson and the suspect were both trustee prisoners, allowed to work in the kitchen as a privilege, as neither were considered high risk.
Around four other trustee prisoners working in the kitchen at the time are also being interviewed by gardaí.
It is understood Mr Johnson’s next of kin were informed about his death yesterday evening.
His body has been removed to Cork morgue where a post-mortem examination is due to be carried out.
The kitchen area of the prison remains sealed off for forensic examination.
According to prison sources, Mr Johnson had been in custody since November 2011 and was due for release in 12 months.
It is understood he had been convicted of a string of theft and burglary charges, including stealing from a goldsmiths and bookmakers – crimes committed to fund a gambling addiction.
Along with the Garda probe, the Prison Service said it is carrying out its own inquiry into what happened. Prison inspectors will also be called in to review the incident.
A Garda spokesman said the investigation was “ongoing”.
“Gardaí in Watercourse Road, Cork City, are investigating a serious incident which occurred at Cork Prison on May 16, 2016,” he said.
“One male 41 years was fatally injured, no one else was injured in the incident.”