prison break | 

Prisoner who attacked armed garda with sword moved from special unit to ‘give staff a break’

Ex champion boxer Brendan Cummins (27) pleaded guilty to two knife attacks, the sword attack, and three assaults on prison officers

Brendan Cummins

Eamon DillonSunday World

A violent prisoner who attacked an armed garda with a samurai sword caused so much trouble behind bars he was transferred from a special unit to give staff “a break.”

Former champion youth boxer Brendan Cummins (27) was last year briefly sent to the high-security Portlaoise Prison from the National Violence Reduction Unit, according to Sunday World sources.

This week he pleaded guilty to two knife attacks in Dundalk in 2019, the sword attack on a garda and three assaults on prison officers, including one where he threw boiling water.

Cummins was moved from the special unit after he refused to engage with prison authorities.

His volatile and unpredictable behaviour has seen him in solitary confinement for three and a half years and in one court appearance he was flanked by officers in riot gear.

He was also the subject of “barrier handling” while being moved from his cell, which meant he was handcuffed and escorted by staff in full protective gear.

In August 2020 he threw boiling water on a prison officer’s face and chest, it was heard in court this week.

Brendan Cummins

When Cummins learned another officer present on the day of that attack had given a statement to gardai, he attacked him in January 2021. This man and a third prison officer were both assaulted by Cummins when he lunged at them, punching one of them in the face with threats to kill.

Dublin Circuit Court heard how Cummins attacked a man in the Marian Park area of Dundalk in April 2019.

Cummins slashed him in the face and back with a Stanley knife with no warning.

On May 10 that year, Cummins was drinking in a house with a man and two women when he knocked the other man to the ground.

He told the women to video him as he slashed at the victim with a Stanley knife, ordering him: “Tell me I’m the surgeon. I’m the daddy.”

He slashed the man under his ear before slicing him down his back from the neck to the hips, the court heard.

Cummins told the man: “You’re going to die, you’re going to die” as the victim tried to escape the house.

The front door was locked so he ran upstairs and jumped out the window, breaking his leg.

The following month, members of the Garda Armed Support Unit broke into Cummins’ home to arrest him.

He came out of his bedroom swinging a samurai sword at the first garda who defended himself with his ballistics shield.

Cummins slashed away at the shield before he was overpowered by gardai.

He has a long history of violence behind bars with 19 criminal convictions.

Judge Orla Crowe adjourned the case for sentence to January.

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