The Clontarf’s man move to Wheatfield Prison took observers by surprise, as he was tipped to either stay in Mountjoy or be transferred to the training unit or possibly Midlands Prison.
Prisoner 92995 was due to be taken from Mountjoy to Wheatfield yesterday evening, but the logistics were difficult to arrange and he was expected to stay in the committal unit overnight and be brought to the Ballyfermot jail this morning.
Wheatfield does not have the relaxed regime that exists in the training unit, which operates as a pre-release centre for low risk inmates. The unit housed Seán Quinn Junior and Seán Quinn Senior in 2012.
“Generally white-collar criminals like him have gone to the training unit,” said one prison source, “but there is an attitude now that if you’re in, you’re in, you’re the same as everyone else. It’s pot luck where you go.”
He said Callely seemed to have a quiet night in the committal unit of Mountjoy, where he spent his first 24 hours after being sentenced for expenses fraud worth just over €4,000.
“The night passed pretty uneventful,” said the source.
There was no rush to move him throughout yesterday. An application went from Mountjoy to transfer him to Wheatfield to the operations directorate of the Prisons Service. Callely remained in Mountjoy and he saw his solicitor during a visit at 5.30pm.
Wheatfield is known as a work and training prison and has long had among the best workshops in the prison system. As of this week, there were 472 inmates in the prison, which has a capacity of 550.
It is a mixture of single and double cells and sources said it was “possible, if not likely” Callely could end up in a double cell.
“It’s a normal prison,” said a prison source. “There’s no real segregation there and he won’t get special treatment.”
Callely will have to go to the canteen, collect his food and return to his cell, like every other inmate. It will be up to him if he wants to take part in any training or education courses. Given his term is only for three or four months, he may decide not to. He can use the library and gym, if interested. He has to be treated like everyone else,” said the source. “Other well-heeled inmates have gone there, without any problems.”
These include wife-killer Eamonn Lillis, who was sentenced to nearly seven years in 2010 for the manslaughter of his wife, Celine Cawley, 46, at their home in Windgate Road, Howth in north Dublin, in December 2008.
Another wife killer, Brian Kearney, was also sent to Wheatfield, after he was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Siobhan, at their Goatstown, Dublin, home in February 2006. Wheatfield is also home to gangland criminals, drug dealers and other less serious offenders.