Bail cash amounting to €10,000 that went missing from an office at Limerick Prison last November has still not been recovered, and a Garda investigation is ongoing, it was confirmed yesterday.
Members of the prison staff have been interviewed in relation to the missing money.
Prisoners did not have access to the office from where the money was taken.
The cash was held in a drawer at the general office at the Mulgrave St prison and was “unaccounted for” — despite a two-day search of the prison — when the investigation was handed over to the gardaí.
A forensic audit of the prison accounts did not uncover any errors in book-keeping.
A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said it was normal practice for cash to be held at the general office of the prison as bail money, amounting up to €60,000, is paid in to prisons to secure the release of remand prisoners.
The area where the cash is held is not accessible to inmates, even those on enhanced regimes or with duties that would allow them movement through other areas of the prison.
However, a large number of prison staff had access to the office and the safe.
The money had been lodged to secure the release of two inmates who had been held there from August 2015.
Once it became known that the money was unaccounted for, a two-day search and an internal investigation got under way.
A source close to the prison said the incident has caused “consternation”.
The source said: “Everyone was in a flap thinking that the money was just misplaced, and would turn up but when it didn’t, it became a different story.
“It is understood that a number of lines of inquiry are being followed by gardaí but there is understandably a cloud of suspicion now and that’s not good amongst staff.
“Searches failed to throw up anything and the place was turned upside down,” the source said.
Detectives met with senior prison staff and a review was carried out on procedures involving the lodgement of bail money at the prison.
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