Kinahan mobster Peadar Keating sacked from kitchen job in Portlaoise Prison
Insider says much of the drug supply into Portlaoise is arriving through the prison’s kitchen and is now suspected of being almost exclusively controlled by cartel-aligned inmates such as Keating and a high-profile dissident inmate.
Jailed Kinahan cartel chief Peadar Keating has been sacked from his job in the kitchen of Portlaoise Prison as jail bosses try to stop the flood of illegal drugs into the facility.
Sources have told the Sunday Worldthat Keating was given the boot after eight inmates in C-Block suffered suspected overdoses in the past two weeks.
Insiders say much of the drug supply into Portlaoise is arriving through the prison’s kitchen and is now suspected of being almost exclusively controlled by cartel-aligned inmates such as Keating and a high-profile dissident inmate.
Our source said: “Consideration was given to moving the dissident but the whole place would blow if they did.
“Things are on eggshells in Portlaoise at the moment.
“But he won’t be leaving C-Block – he’s too big a player.”
Similarly, the source said authorities at the jail are attempting to be diplomatic in how they handle Keating because of concerns over the level of influence he has within the Kinahan-aligned grouping.
Described in court as a "senior member of the cartel”, Keating has assumed the mantle of leader of the Kinahan inmates on C-Block since his arrival in the prison.
Keating is doing an 11-year-stretch after admitting in July last year to directing the activities of a criminal gang involved in the failed attempt on Hutch associate James ‘Mago’ Gately in 2017.
The murder plot was foiled when Estonian hitman Imre Arakas was arrested and a weapon seized after the assassin travelled to Ireland for the hit.
Our source said: “Peadar was fired from the kitchen by the Governor but management are wary of backlash from the prison population when it comes to dealing with such big players.
“Making a wrong decision could cause uproar with the amount of drugs in here, the tension that’s causing and the number of serious players that are in here.”
Prisoners have also claimed to officers that an attempted assault on republican Sean Connolly by two associates of recently-freed killer Brian Rattigan last week also had its origins in drugs.
The row, the inmates have claimed, relates to the seizure of €30,000 worth of drugs and phones by prison officers from a tea trolley in the common area of the dissident republican E-Block in April this year.
Following the seizure, a republican inmate was kicked off E-Block by his paramilitary bosses and later transferred to A-Block.
Our source said: “Prisoners think it [last week’s assault] came from over in E-Block over the inmate being blamed for that seizure.
“Threats were being made against his family on the outside to get stuff in.
“The drugs on that trolley were worth €30,000 at least.”
In the wake of the assault on Connolly, Rattigan’s former associates staged a dirty protest in their cells after being booted off the C-Block.
“It was a half-hearted effort,” our source said.
“Over before it started and menial stuff really. They wanted to come back and weren’t happy.”
The degree of control being exercised by cartel inmates and dissident republicans in Portlaoise is now causing serious concern among officers on the prison landings.
The source said: “The place is flooded with drugs and staff are being threatened and assaulted. It’s a very serious situation.”
We previously revealed how Kinahan cartel inmates are now in control of two blocks in the prison – A and C.
At the top of the pile in A-Block is Lee Canavan and a second cartel killer, who cannot be named as he is before the courts on separate serious charges.
Canavan was jailed for life for the murder of Daithi Douglas in May 2021 and is also a suspect for the brutal Gary Hutch killing in Spain that led to the deadly Hutch-Kinahan feud.
Cartel inmates on this landing have also offered their protection to Garda killer Aaron Brady.
Meanwhile, on C-Block, Peadar Keating is backed up by David Duffy.
Duffy is serving five years for his role in the plot to kill Gately.
Portlaoise, traditionally a republican prison, is now considered the preferred prison for accommodating criminals convicted of cartel-linked crime.
Although it has been reported that the Kinahan mob have had their ability to make regular payments to cartel inmates and their families curtailed by the sanctions imposed by authorities, it’s understood this has not led to a breakdown of the gang’s structure behind bars.
“The reaction to Daniel Kinahan being sanctioned by the US isn’t what you might have thought,” one source said.
“Inmates made a few jokes about it but it hasn’t caused them any real concern.
“There is power and protection in being part of a group like the Kinahan-aligned inmates behind bars.
“And it’s the group they stay loyal to, not the men at the top who are thousands of miles away in Dubai.”
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