NewsCrime Desk

Lag says he was locked in exercise yard overnight in rain and thunder

Cork Prison
Cork Prison

An ex-lag says he was locked out in an exercise yard overnight in rainy and thundery conditions.

Martin McDonagh claims he was locked outside Cork Prison for more than 12 hours while he was imprisoned there in May.

The former inmate says the incident happened after he asked for fresh air and was brought to the exercise yard.

“The officer asked me did I want to go for fresh air. I told him I did. ”

“Noone came for me. I was still there. The sky went black. I was still there. It started raining and thundering. I roared and shouted and screamed behind the gates. But no one still could hear me.”

“The rain was very bad and all I had was a muscle vest on me… I  banged the fence and the whole lot, and they still couldn’t hear me,” he told the Neil Prenderville show.

Mr McDonagh says he was forced to stay warm by doing starjumps and running around, but when he eventually got tired he went to sleep on a bathroom floor. The prison governor apologised to Mr McDonagh, but the former prisoner says this is not enough.

“To be honest, I’ve a very, very bad cold, and pains in my lungs and back after it happened.”

“I asked the governor how did you make this mistake?

“I got no tea, no food, no nothing.”

“An apology is no good to me. My boxing career is over as well. My back is f***ed.”

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service (IPS) said an investigation into the incident is still ongoing.

He said the governor at Cork prison has since changed operational procedures to ensure that a similar incident doesn't occur again.

The IPS added that the matter has now been forwarded to the State Claims Agency, and the IPS said it would be making no further comment.