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Nearly 300 prisoners have absconded from Irish jails since 2010 - some are still at large

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Figures: Almost 300 escapees have absconded from Irish prisons
Figures: Almost 300 escapees have absconded from Irish prisons

Hundreds of prisoners have absconded from Irish jails since 2010, figures from the Department of Justice have revealed.

There have been 293 successful escape incidents in the last five years, the figures show.

Of those who have absconded, 278 have returned either voluntarily or otherwise. However, 15 of the escapees remain at large today.

The year 2010 was by far the worst year for escapees. There were 112 absconders, seven of whom have yet to be re-caught. 

A total of 86 prisoners went missing in 2011, one remains at large; 63 prisoners went missing in 2012, two remain at large; 18 prisoners went missing in 2013, all have been rehoused; 11 prisoners went missing in 2014, two remain at large. 
 
Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the majority of prisoners who abscond return voluntarily or are apprehended within a short space of time. 
 
Since 2012, the Irish Prison Service has implemented a project team to examine how the system may reduce the number of prisoners escaping from jails around the country. They have also examined ways to re-apprehend prisoners who remained at large.
 
The figures were revealed following a question by Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan, who was seeking clarification on the nature of the criminals still at large. 
 
He wanted to know what crimes the escapees had been convicted of and where they had escaped from.