‘No foul play’ as prisoner found dead in Mountjoy

A man serving time for killing a teenager was found dead in his cell in Mountjoy Prison yesterday morning.

Douglas ‘Dougie’ Ward, aged 40, from Knockbridge, Co Louth, was discovered by prison officers at 6.40am after they opened cells for breakfast.

Staff do not suspect foul play, nor do they believe it was suicide.

“It’s either natural causes or a drugs overdose,” a prison source said.

RELATED: Prisoner found dead in Mountjoy cell

Ward was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment in in 2012 for the manslaughter of 18-year-old Niall Dorr in Dundalk on October 13, 2010.

The sentence was reduced to 10 years by the Court of Appeal last January.

Ward subjected Mr Dorr to a prolonged and vicious assault on Castle Street. The teenager had been acting as a peacemaker and trying to break up a row when Ward attacked him, punching and kicking him in the head.

Ward, a father-of-three, did not know Mr Dorr but he ripped the teenager’s shirt off him and continued to attack him even when he was unresponsive. He left zigzag shoe marks on the teenager’s forehead and the side of his head after he punched, stamped and kicked him.

The trial court heard that Mr Dorr sustained irrevocable brain damage.

Ward, on bail at the time, had been drinking since morning time. After the attack, he went to an off-licence and bought more drink.

Three investigations are under way: one by the gardaí for the city coroner, another by the Irish Prison Service and a third by the Inspector of Prisons. Gardaí have examined the cell for any evidence of drug taking, including any paraphernalia or packaging. A postmortem will be conducted.

There were eight prison deaths in 2014.

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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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