This Area of the Midlands Jail, holds Graham Dwyer, and former Consultant Michael Shine???

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Prison (Out) Break Dozens of sex offenders tested after Covid-19 cases at Midlands Prison in Laois

Staff on the landings are required to wear full personal protection equipment and visits have been cancelled, according to sources.

The Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, Co Laois Photo:
              Collins

The Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, Co Laois Photo: Collins



November 04 2021 05:52 PM

DOZENS of terrified elderly sexual offenders are being tested for Covid-19 after two positive cases were detected this week at the Midlands Prison. 

The affected E and G landings at the County Laois prison are where several high-profile prisoners are serving their sentences.

The inmates, some of whom need carers to help them with daily basic tasks, are currently confined to their cells.

Staff on the landings are required to wear full personal protection equipment and visits have been cancelled, according to sources.

Many of the inmates would be regarded as being in the high-risk category due to their advanced years.

The Midlands Prison.

The Midlands Prison.

Among those serving time on the affected wings is former consultant Dr Michael Shine who is now aged 88.

He is serving a four-year-sentence imposed in 2019 for groping seven boys in his care during his career as a doctor in a number of Co Louth hospitals.

Another well-known ageing inmate is Bill Kenneally, a former basketball coach in Waterford who is serving a 14-year sentence for sexually abusing boys.

Now aged 70, Kenneally lost an appeal against his sentence imposed in 2016 after he pleaded guilty to offences committed in the 1970s and 80s.

In a statement this evening the prison service said they “can confirm there are two positive cases amongst the prisoner population.”

“The Service is working closely with HSE Public Health where both Contact Tracing and Covid swabbing is ongoing.”

“The Midlands Prison Outbreak Control Team (OCT) continues to engage with Prison Management to oversee appropriate actions to mitigate against further possible spread of the disease within the prison.”

“The Irish Prison Service is working closely with HSE Public Health with regard to the management of the current outbreak including arrangements for the testing of all staff and prisoners located in the E&G Divisions in the Midland Prison.”

“To help prevent the further spread of infection a more restricted regime has been introduced for the E&G Divisions which may impact on access to video visits and phone calls in the short term for prisoners in precautionary isolation however we are working to ensure that we can continue to facilitate family contact as far as possible.”

Despite a number of outbreaks, the Irish Prison Service has successfully prevented widespread infection of prisoners and staff throughout the country’s prisons since the start of the pandemic with no fatalities.

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