McDowell sets up independent probe into Mountjoy death

Minister of Justice Michael McDowell has established an independent inquiry into the death of a 21-year-old inmate at Mountjoy Prison overnight.

Minister of Justice Michael McDowell has established an independent inquiry into the death of a 21-year-old inmate at Mountjoy Prison overnight.

Gary Douch, who was from Dublin and serving a three-year sentence for assault, had been placed in protective custody last night with a number of other prisoners at his own request.

He was taken to the Mater Hospital this morning after being badly beaten in the cell and was pronounced dead a short time later.

The scene has been sealed off for forensic examination and a post mortem will be carried out on the victim’s body today.

The independent inquiry being set up by Mr McDowell will be asked to establish the facts of the case and whether the Prison Service took appropriate measures to safeguard Mr Douch’s safety.

The Gardai are also investigating the killing, while the Prison Service is conducting its own inquiry into the matter.

The service has confirmed that Mr Douch was moved from the landing of Mountjoy at his own request last night.

It says he had no objections to being housed with the other prisoners in his protective-custody cell.

The assault is the second to take place in Mountjoy in the past week, raising questions about the safety of inmates at the jail.

Last week, Nigerian man Goodwill Odechuckwu was stabbed by a gang at the prison after being jailed for killing his wife.

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