Taxpayer paying almost €1,000 per week to jail Graham Dwyer

It is costing the taxpayer just under €1,000 a week to jail perverted killer Graham Dwyer.

Figures released by the Irish Prison Service (IPS) show that the cost per prison space at the Midlands Prison where Dwyer, aged 43, is serving a life sentence for the murder of Elaine O’Hara, aged 36, totalled €51,837 in 2015.

This works out at €996 per week per prisoner and the figures confirm it cost the IPS €45m to operate the State’s most populated prison where it had an average prison population of 870 in 2015.

Prisoner 88335, Dwyer received a life sentence for the murder of Ms O’Hara in April of last year after a trial at the Central Criminal Court.

The number of years served by killers for life sentences is, on average, around 20 years. However, due to the depravity involved in Dwyer’s crime and the public opprobrium towards the killer, Dwyer’s time in jail is expected to be much longer than the average “life” sentence.

If the Cork native was to serve 30 years in jail, it would cost the taxpayer €1.5m over the three decades to jail the murderer based on the 2015 cost per place at the Midlands Prison.

Dywer’s prison contains the largest population of convicted sex offenders in the country at 300.

The biggest contributor to costs at the prison is the €29.1m on prison-related fixed costs.

The cost per prisoner place at the Midlands Prison is well below the average cost per prison place of €68,628 with the cost per prisoner of €97,824 at the State’s only high-security prison at Portlaoise helping to bring up the average cost across the prison system.

Separate figures show that the cost of jailing the likes of the notorious Scissors Sisters, Linda and Charlotte Mulhall, at the Dochas prison in 2015 worked out at €1,518 per week.

The cost per prisoner place at Dochas in 2015 amounted to €78,981 and the total cost of running the Dochas centre in 2015 amounted to €8.29m for the average 105-strong prison population.

The IPS figures show that it cost €1,088 per prison per week or €56,590 at the Training Unit in 2015. The unit in 2015 had an average prison population of 96 and the total cost of operating the Training Unit in 2015 totalled €5.4m.

The highest per prisoner space cost among the 10 closed prisons is Cork prison where the cost was €90,929 followed by Mountjoy where the cost per prisoner space was €86,657.

The total cost of operating the 13 prisons in the Irish Prison Service totalled €283.5m.


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