1,000 drug busts a year in Irish jails

143 drug seizures were made inside Mountjoy Prison last year
143 drug seizures were made inside Mountjoy Prison last year

New figures have revealed the large number of drug seizures that happen INSIDE Ireland's prison and detention centres.

Figures obtained by the Star via Freedom of Information reveal that 3,236 seizures have been made in 12 different facilities since 2012.

Last year there were just under 1,000 seizures made across the country, with 986 confiscations.

Wheatfield Prison had the most seizures in 2014, with 179 drug finds, or one every two days.

Cloverhill was just behind with 167 while 143 seizures were made in Mountjoy.

The Dochas Centre for female prisoners, beside Mountjoy, had 13 seziures while St Pat's, where 17-year-old males are held, had 60 confiscations.

Other facilities with less than 100 incidents of contraband drugs include Castlerea (98), Cork Prison (72), Limerick Prison (80), Portlaoise (17), Loughan House (16) and te Mountjoy Training Unit (5).

Extra measures were brought in by the Irish Prison Service in 2008 to combat drug smuggling, including a canine unit, more searches and nets over exercise yards to catch drugs flung over prison walls.

Two facilities had no seizures, low security Shelton Abbey in Wicklow and Arbour Hill Prison.