Prisoners caught by Rocky start ‘hard time’

HEIGHTENED tensions continued yesterday in Limerick Prison as inmates caught with drugs due to the success of sniffer dog Rocky commenced punishments handed down by prison management.

Angry drug addicts serving sentences have put out a contract to have Rocky killed as he has closed down the main drugs trail into the prison since he took up duty two weeks ago.

More than 20 inmates have lost privileges after being found with drugs by Rocky and they commenced “hard time” yesterday.

As punishment, each prisoner will lose all privileges for two months. This means they cannot receive visits during that period; they will not be allowed to make a daily six-minute phone call from prison landlines and they will not have access to the prison tuck shop to buy cigarettes, fruit, sweets and toiletries.

And to add to their misery over the next two months they will be locked up at 5.30pm each day after evening supper. The usual lock-up time is 8pm.

And after the two months’ loss of privileges the prisoners will only be allowed screen visits for another six months.

This means that visits will take place in special security cubicles with a glass screen separating the visitor from the prisoner and preventing all physical contact.

Visitors suspected of handing over drugs to inmates on visits have been banned indefinitely from the jail.

Visits have dropped by about 30% in the past two weeks since the arrival of Rocky.

Angry prisoners staged a sit-in while in an exercise yard on Monday afternoon at the loss of privileges.

Reports that the prison authorities are contemplating putting up a big screen for Sunday’s All-Ireland hurling final have also been discounted.

A prison source said: “You would need four big screens as many of the prisoners are separated in different wings according to their allegiances to the gangs in the city feud. Those linked to the McCarthy/Dundon gang are in D wing while those associated with the Keane/Collopy/Ryan gang are in C wing.

“Another family group are in the same wing as the McCarthy/Dundons. I don’t think you could have a big-screen situation.”

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