Six prisoners who escaped Irish prisons in the past five years are still at large
The Irish Prison Service said that from 2016 to date, a total of 44 inmates absconded from two low-security facilities – but only 38 were caughti
Six prisoners who escaped from open prisons during the past five years are still at large, official figures have revealed.
The Irish Prison Service said that from 2016 to date, a total of 44 inmates absconded from two low-security facilities – but only 38 were caught.
A spokesman added: “Six prisoners remain Unlawfully At Large (UAL) as of 13 October 2021.”
The detention centres involved are Loughan House in Co Cavan and Shelton Abbey in Co Wicklow where criminals are usually transferred if they have a reduced risk or are preparing for release.
During the past five years, a total of 12 inmates escaped from medium or high security prisons but all were apprehended and returned to their cells.
Earlier this month convicted Dublin drug dealer and gunman John Mangan escaped from Loughan House open prison.
Mangan, 53, from Whitestown Green in Blanchardstown was caught with over €2m worth of cannabis in July 2006 while in 2007, he was arrested while carrying a loaded pistol in his trousers.
Sources said Mangan may have escaped on October 4 as he faced being returned to a closed prison after allegedly being recently caught with a “burner” mobile phone which is against the regulations.
A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service said: “Gardaí are informed when a prisoner becomes unlawfully at large and they have the power to detain, arrest, and return such persons to prison.”
Prison bosses said the data on jail breaks comes from the Prisoner Information Management System (PIMS) – which classifies an escapee from an open prison as “Unlawfully At Large – Abscond.”
An inmate that flees from a closed prison or during an escort, or visit to court or hospital is categorised as “Unlawfully at Large – Escape”.
Loughan House near Blacklion is for prisoners aged 18 years and over who are regarded as requiring lower levels of security while Shelton Abbey near Arklow has a similar regime for men aged 19 years and over.
Prisoners can sometimes escape during visits to court or hospital.
In October 2019, a male prisoner escaped from custody whilst attending University Hospital Limerick.
The man was brought from Limerick Prison and was being monitored by at least two prison officers but he climbed through a toilet window on the first floor of the building.
A major manhunt was launched but the escapee later handed himself into Limerick Prison and was put behind bars again.