Review after prisoner escapes

A REVIEW was underway yesterday into how a prisoner serving an eight-year sentence escaped from a hospital where he was receiving treatment.

Gerard Foley, 27, from Knocknaheeney, Cork, escaped through a small window in a toilet in Portlaoise General Hospital wearing pyjamas and slippers at around 9pm on Tuesday. He was recaptured 30 minutes later by gardaí and returned to Portlaoise Prison.

Foley was sentenced to eight years in 2000 for robbery and possession of a firearm.

A spokesman for the Prison Service confirmed the prisoner asked to use a toilet in the hospital at around 9pm. Given he was connected to tubes and a drip hanging out of him and was only wearing slippers and pyjamas the prison officers did not go into the toilet with him.

Foley was initially taken to the hospital on Sunday after getting into a fight with other prisoners in the exercise yard. There is a secure unit in Portlaoise Hospital but it is closed for renovations.

A Prison Service spokesman confirmed the governor of Portlaoise Prison would be carrying out a review of security.

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