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Fever worry 'C Case' rapist and 11 other prisoners self-isolating after puppet show at Arbour Hill jail


Simon McGinley (left) and killer Robert O'Brien both had to self-isolate

Simon McGinley (left) and killer Robert O'Brien both had to self-isolate

Arbour Hill Prison is the scene of a Covid-19 scare

Arbour Hill Prison is the scene of a Covid-19 scare


Simon McGinley (left) and killer Robert O'Brien both had to self-isolate

A dozen prisoners, including the notorious rapist at the centre of the 'C case', had to self-isolate in Arbour Hill Prison this week following a Christmas show which featured Fr Ted and Pamela Anderson puppets.

C-case rapist Simon McGinley and Kerryman Robert O'Brien, who murdered his own sister, were among 12 prisoners who had to isolate this week after another inmate came down with a temperature after the puppet show.

Around 40 prisoners watched the show, which was performed by 12 inmates at the event in the Dublin prison which mostly houses sex offenders.

The inmates had made puppets in the prison workshop and had scripted the puppet show themselves.

It is understood the puppets they used included likenesses of Fr Ted, Fr Jack, Fr Dougal and Mrs Doyle, as well as former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson.

The prisoners involved gathered behind a curtain without masks to perform the show. While prison staff wear masks on duty the inmates generally do not.

Afterwards, one of the prisoners involved came down with a temperature and at least 11 other inmates had to self-isolate as a result.

A source said: "There were a dozen or so behind the curtain and they would have been in close contact with each other. The audience were socially distanced.

Following the performance one of them had a high temperature, so it ended with a lot going behind the doors."

It is understood the prisoner with a temperature was given a Covid test on Thursday and the 11 people in close contact had to self-isolate until the results come back.


If the test comes back negative the prisoners will no longer have to self-isolate.

None of the 40 or so prisoners who were in the audience had to self-isolate as they were not in close contact with the inmate who had a temperature.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service confirmed a number of prisoners were isolating as a precaution.

"We have 12 prisoners isolating in Arbour Hill at the moment. One became unwell and showed symptoms so they have been tested and through our contact-tracing team we have identified 11 others who were in close contact with them.

"They are in precautionary isolation and we're awaiting the test results. If the tests come back negative they will all be out of isolation."

The spokesperson said they were expecting the results back yesterday and if they were negative they would all be out of isolation this weekend.

"None of the other 11 are showing any symptoms, so it is only precautionary."

Sources said the rapist at the centre of the infamous C-case was among the prisoners who had to quarantine.

Simon McGinley is serving a 21-year sentence for raping an 86-year-old woman in an horrific attack after forcing his way into her Monaghan home on June 16, 2008

McGinley pleaded not guilty despite his DNA being found on the victim's electric blanket and pyjamas and his fingerprints in her bathroom and bedroom.

Eleven years prior to this horrific rape, McGinley was sentenced to 12 years for the rape of his 13-year-old babysitter in 1997.

The girl at the centre of the C-case became pregnant and was taken into care. She won the right to have an abortion in the UK.

McGinley is also the prime suspect for the rape of an elderly wheelchair-bound woman in the North.


When sentencing McGinley to 21 years for his attack on the 86-year-old woman, Judge George Bermingham said: "This case is just about as bad as it gets. It is hard to come to terms with the fact that the same person is capable of raping a 13-year-old girl and then an 85-year-old woman."

McGinley's wife Rosaleen said she was sticking by him after his conviction and described him as a "good man".

Sources say that another inmate who had to self-isolate this week was Kerryman Robert O'Brien.

O'Brien (42), of St John's Park, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, is serving a life sentence for murdering his sister while being high on drink and drugs at the Quay, Blennerville, outside Tralee, on September 28, 2004.

The Central Criminal Court also heard O'Brien attempted to rape his sister, Elizabeth McCarthy, but after he admitted the murder the State did not proceed with an attempted rape charge.

He dumped Ms McCarthy's body in the sea after beating and strangling her.

Her body was found later found washed up snagged on barbed wire in a tributary of the River Lee.

A post mortem revealed she had been viciously attacked and that she fiercely resisted before O'Brien overpowered her.

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Online Editors