NewsCrime Desk

Serial killer investigated over vile threats to prison officer

Mark Nash
Mark Nash

SERIAL killer Mark Nash is being investigated by Gardaí over threats issued against a prison officer in the Midlands Prison.

The Sunday World has learned that Gardaí in Portlaoise are investigating the contents of a chilling recorded phone call that fiend Nash made to an associate.

During the sinister call, he said of the prison officer: “I’m going to do him, I’m going to get him alone and I’m going to show him who the real Mark Nash is.”

Shockingly, we can reveal Nash issued the threats after a standoff with a senior officer in the Midlands Prison over his demands that he be granted special privileges surrounding visits.

Nash, who is serving four life sentences in the Midlands Prison, had been enjoying increased privileges in the jail under an enhanced regime.

A source confirmed to the Sunday World: “A complaint was made to Gardaí in Portlaoise on May 7 by a staff member from the Midlands Prison relating to threats issued by an inmate against a prison officer. A statement was taken and the matter is being investigated.”

Evil Nash is serving two life sentences for the horrific murders of Sylvia Sheils (59) and Mary Callinan (61) at their sheltered housing in Grangegorman, Dublin, in 1997.

He was previously convicted for murdering a young Roscommon couple, Catherine and Carl Doyle, in August of the same year.

The Sunday World understands that an issue arose between Nash and the officer, who oversees visits, after Nash demanded ‘special privileges’.

“Nash was effectively seeking extra time and visits from a visitor who come in on a regular basis. The officer in charge refused, stating Nash was to be subject to the same restrictions as any other inmate,” said a source. 

“When informed of the decision Nash took grave exception to what he was being told.

“Nash’s phone-calls are monitored by the prison’s Operational Support Group (the prison’s security officers) as a matter of course and recorded.

“Subsequent to the decision being made known to Nash he made threats against the officer in question during two separate phone calls.”

The Sunday World understands that in the wake of prison management being informed of the phone call, Nash had his privileges withdrawn and was kicked off the enhanced regime.

According to sources, the Irish Prison Service carried out a threat assessment over concerns for the officer’s safety. Nash was removed from the prison’s E-Division and placed on the C-Division.

After the officer was informed of the threat, he is understood to have made a formal complaint to Gardaí.

It’s understood that in the wake of being disciplined Nash has sought to appeal the findings of a P19 disciplinary procedure and is seeking to have his privileges restored.

The depravity of the murders Nash was responsible for have resulted in officers in the prison treating his threats with the utmost seriousness.

Nash is currently serving four life sentences following his 2015 conviction for the 1997 double murders of psychiatric patients Mary Callanan (61) and Sylvia Shiels (60).

He has been in prison since August 17, 1997 – the day after he killed Catherine Doyle (28) and Carl Doyle (29) at their home in Caran, Ballintoober, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon. Nash stabbed Catherine Doyle 16 times while Carl Doyle was stabbed six times. 

He had killed Ms Callanan and Ms Shiels, neither of whom he knew personally, in a completely unrelated attack just four months earlier.

The two woman had been staying in a residence on the hospital’s grounds.

Their bodies had been discovered by security officials and each had sustained horrific and fatal injuries with a carving fork and other implements.

Now 43, Nash is believed to be the first person in the history of the State to kill two people in two separate incidents, outside of terrorist offences.

When he was arrested for killing the Doyles, he admitted in questioning that he had carried out the Callanan and Shiels murders, though he retracted that statement the following month.