NewsCrime Desk

We expose some of Ireland's most dangerous prisoners

Murder Inc. killer Christopher ‘Smokey’ Costello has been a notoriously disruptive prisoner
Murder Inc. killer Christopher ‘Smokey’ Costello has been a notoriously disruptive prisoner

This week the Inspector of Prisons Judge Michael O’Reilly blasted prison management for allowing “gang cultures” to flourish.

Today we expose some of Ireland’s most dangerous prisoners.

  • Murder Inc. killer Christopher ‘Smokey’ Costello has been a notoriously disruptive prisoner since he was jailed for life for the Limerick feud-related murder of Kieran Keane in 2003.  Last year the Sunday World revealed how he enjoyed a family party in jail just weeks after being caught red-handed with a mobile phone. Some visitors for Costello have been allowed into the jail even after being previously stopped on suspicion of smuggling contraband, sources added. 
  • Sligo’s ‘King Scum’ Patrick Irwin (pictured below) heads up a drugs gang that virtually controls the drugs trade in Castlerea Prison and beyond. He is currently serving a seven-year sentence for cocaine possession and a three-year sentence for breaking the jaw of a Garda Sergeant. A source told the Sunday World that Limerick-linked gangsters can no longer be kept at the jail after a series of horrific knife attacks.

  • Kenneth ‘Shambie’ Williams is known as “a chaotic drug user and criminal” who is currently serving a six-year sentence for obstructing gardaí from trying to get a gun he had passed to a teenager. He has over 100 convictions and has been linked to many of the criminal gangs that operate out of the Finglas area. He has been described as being an extremely violent and difficult prisoner. 
  • Ballyfermot native Lee McDonnell (pictured below) hasn’t been doing his time quietly either. Even before his headline-making escape from a prison van he had been involved in violence behind bars. Three prison officers were injured and other inmates terrorised when he tried to escape from a court-house holding cell. He has previously posted online pictures of himself drinking home-made booze behind bars. McDonnell is a dangerous gangland criminal who is serving time for a violent robbery.

  • Lifer and killer Warren Dumbrell seems to get whatever he wants, according to Sunday World sources. The Dublin thug was a ringleader in the infamous 1997 Mountjoy Siege in which prison officers were taken hostage and subjected to terrifying mock executions. In the past we revealed how he was getting sexual favours carried out in a visitors’ area from a woman sent to visit him at the behest of major gangland figure. Violent and unpredictable, Dumbrell is serving life for a murder committed just two months after finishing his previous jail sentence.

​Read: Some of country's most notorious killers enjoyed 'lifer's party' at Halloweeen.