Inmates in Irish prisons are given a few extra privileges over the festive period, including a traditional fry up on Christmas morning to a three course dinner featuring soup, a ham and turkey dinner with all the trimmings and dessert such as Christmas pudding.
Hutch’s trial for the murder of David Byrne at the Regency Hotel in 2016 has been adjourned until the New Year after cross examination of Jonathan Dowdall concluded before the Special Criminal Court on Wednesday.
Hutch and other associates are housed on the 3G landing on Wheatfield Prison and are strictly isolated from other inmates so don’t take part in some of the wider activities organised for the general population in Irish Prisons. This means Hutch will miss out on activities such as the Christmas play and prison choir, but will get to enjoy the breakfast and dinner.
A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service said there are a range of activities lined up for inmates in general population over Christmas.
“It is important to note that Christmas in prison is a very difficult time for those in custody. It is not uncommon for prisoners to experience severe loneliness and isolation over the festive period due to separation from family and friends.
“The Irish Prison Service is acutely aware of the importance of family contact to prisoners, especially around the festive season,” the spokesperson said.
As well as physical visits, prisoners have the option of video visits introduced during Covid which helps keep them in touch with family and friends.
“As in previous years, the Prison Service has supported the contact of families through different forms of temporary release,” the spokesperson said, adding that 129 prisoners have been granted Christmas temporary release this year.
They said there were a number of festive activities taking place across Irish prisons on Christmas Day.
“The Irish Prison Service provides all persons in custody with a traditional breakfast, a Christmas dinner and a dessert on December 25th.
“In addition, to keep prisoners active throughout the day there is a number of different activities such as, the Christmas play, the prison choir and engagement in board games.”