Under special arrangements for jailed paramilitaries at Portlaoise Prison, inmates can order in whatever they want — apart from alcohol.
Order sheets reveal the highly specific tastes of the subversives, with prisoners stocking up on eclairs, wine gums, Tayto crisps, and Fanta orange for pre-Christmas celebrations.
One request slip from December 21 asked for the purchase of spray cream, Lindt hot chocolate, and marshmallows to top off the hot cocoa treat.
Another for €18.70 on the same date sought a box of Christmas cards, microwavable porridge, two pizzas, cocktail sausages, and a pack of chicken goujons.
Prisoners also planned a Christmas fry, splashing out €43.20 on sausages, black and white pudding, mushrooms, hash browns, and smoked rashers.
Selection boxes were also on the menu with one order sheet seeking two large Galaxy selection boxes and a Cadbury Medium Santa selection.
Prisoners kept up to date on specials available in local shops, saying a large box of Tunnock’s tea cakes should be bought at the “offer only” price of €9.99.
An order sheet from December 23 asked for 10 Cadbury Milk Trays, each costing €4.40, but that if they were not available prisoners would make do with Ferrero Rocher instead.
Also on that list were a 12-pack of Lucozade cans, Dr Oetker pizzas, a pack of potato wedges, and a large pack of Crunchy Nut cornflakes.
A Christmas Eve order sought Starbucks coffee pods for making lattes on a Dolce Gusto coffee machine.
The prisoners also requested a pack of Magnum Double Gold Caramel Billionaire ice creams, and multi-packs of Lucozade Sport and chewing gum.
It wasn’t all junk food and treats however, with some prisoners seeking healthier options. One order from December 29 listed a request for a small bottle of cod liver oil capsules, a bottle of honey, and a less-healthy 30g pack of Amber Leaf tobacco.
Another from mid-December sought a five-litre bottle of still water, a grapefruit, an avocado, toothpaste, and a pack of cigarette filters.
The order sheets, which were released under FOI legislation and cover the last two weeks of 2021, detail expenditure upwards of €1,200.
Since 1973, Portlaoise has had special arrangements for subversives for “historical and political reasons”.
There are currently 215 prisoners at the high-security jail out of a bed capacity of 291, an occupancy rate of 74pc. Of those, 13 are housed on
E Block, which has traditionally been used for paramilitaries, while 31 are on A Block, which houses dangerous criminals and gangland figures.