Prison Service chief apologises over McDermott incident

Prison Service chief apologises over McDermott incident

The Director General of the Irish Prison Service Michael Donnellan has apologised unreservedly for the decision to move an inmate from the Midlands prison to an open centre in Co. Cavan, from which he escaped twice.

Martin McDermott from Raphoe in Donegal, was found guilty in 2009 of the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin, and was initially sent to Portlaoise prison.

He was later moved to Loughan House in Co. Cavan from which he absconded and was arrested in Derry the following day.

A Prison Service report also shows that Mr McDermott was previously in custody at Loughan House in 2007 and absconded from there on November 27 that year.

Director General of the Irish Prison Service, Michael Donnellan, has said it was wrong to transfer McDermott and this kind of mistake will not happen again.

Mr Donnellan said: "Measures will be take and indeed have been taken to provide additional oversight in our decision-making process in order that such a decision cannot be made in the future.

"I would like to conclude that as Director General of the Irish Prison Service I sincerely regret the hurt caused to Garda McLaughlin's family, to his colleagues in the force and also as a result of the decision I wish to apologise unreservedly."

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