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€10,000 in bail bonds vanishes from Limerick Prison General Office

NewsBy Patrick O'Connell
Scandal: Money has vanished from Limerick Prison's General Office
Scandal: Money has vanished from Limerick Prison's General Office

The Irish Prison Service and Gardai have launched separate investigations after €10,000 in bail money disappeared from Limerick Prison.

The money – which went missing from the jail’s General Office – had been received by prison authorities in August as bail bonds to secure the release of two inmates.
 
The disappearance of the cash resulted in a frantic search of the office by administrative staff, but failed to result in the money being recovered.
 
A source told the Sunday World: “This has caused huge concern within the prison.
 
“There is cloud of suspicion and worry over the staff in the prison as obviously the fear is someone simply walked off with it.
 
“If it is an inmate – then that’s one thing – but if a staff member was involved then we have a major problem.
 
“And the real issue is that inmates do not have access to that office.”
 
Sources have confirmed, in the wake of the money disappearing, that staff turned the office “upside down” in the hope the money had simply been misplaced.
 
“The search was extremely thorough, but nothing was found. Gardaí from Roxboro Garda Station were informed and officers have visited the prison.
 
“All those who work in that office would have been considered above reproach, so this working under a cloud of suspicion is a terrible thing for the people concerned to have to deal with.”
 
In a statement to the Sunday World, an Irish Prison Service spokesperson confirmed that investigations are ongoing.
 
The suspected theft is one of the largest to have occurred within the prison system, since it was revealed last January of this year that €18,000 worth of cigarettes had 
disappeared from the tuck shop in Mountjoy Prison.
 
An internal audit discovered a massive discrepancy in the number of cigarettes being delivered to the jail and the number accounted for through sales in the three shops that prisoners use in the North Circular Road site.
 
The audit discovered that €9,000 worth of cigarettes and other tobacco products were unaccounted for in two month-long periods.
 
However, in the 10 months since it was discovered the cigarettes had vanished, and despite a lengthy internal probe, no-one has been found accountable for the thefts