Freddie’s Last of the Summer Whine!
External investigator appointed
AN EXTERNAL investigator was appointed by the Irish Prison Service to probe a series of 'Category A' complaints by gang boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson against three prison officers.
Convicted killer Thompson made the complaints against the officers in the midst of his High Court battle aimed at securing a move from a restrictive regime in the prison's A-wing to general population in the prison's C-Block.
The Sunday World understands Thompson made the formal category A complaint against the three staff members in May 2019.
Thompson has since been moved into general population on the C-block - where he has a far less restrictive regime.
The Sunday World understands an external investigator was appointed to probe the complaint between May and November of last year.
A number of prison staff were interviewed as part of the probe.
Thompson is also believed to have been interviewed as part of the inquiry.
It's understood a report on the complaints is now in the possession of the Irish Prison Service in Longford.
The contents of the report have not been disclosed.
Asked to comment this week, the Irish Prison Service declined to speak about the specific complaints put forward by Thompson.
However, in a statement to this newspaper, a spokesperson said: "The Irish Prison Service (IPS) does not comment on individual prisoner cases.
"All prisoners have the right to make a complaint at any time and all complaints are treated with the utmost seriousness.
"The most serious of complaints (category A) are assigned to external investigators including allegation of assault or use of excessive force against a prisoner, ill treatment, racial abuse, discrimination, intimidation, threats or any other conduct against a prisoner of nature and gravity likely to bring discredit on the IPS."
In November last year, Thompson withdrew a High Court challenge based on claims he was being subjected to an "extremely oppressive" and "severe" regime at Portlaoise Prison.
The withdrawal came after Thompson (39) was moved by the prison authorities from the isolation block and placed with the mainstream prison population.
Thompson, from Dublin's south inner city, is serving a life sentence for the murder of David Douglas in 2016.
In his action, Thompson had sought various orders, including one ending his detention away from the mainstream prison population and getting better access to the prison's facilities.
He also claimed that, in breach of his human rights, he had been only allowed contact with two other prisoners, and spent most of his time effectively on "lock-up" in his cell.
He further claimed that he was being denied regular exercise, fresh air and appropriate education.
Thompson claimed his situation was unbearable and his mental health has been affected.
He claimed that before being transferred to Portlaoise he had always been housed within the general prison population. He also claimed he was being treated differently to other prisoners serving life sentences.
He claimed he had been placed in the punishment block due to security concerns, which he rejected.
As part of his action, both Thompson and fellow convicted criminal Brian Rattigan swore statements saying that there was no bad blood between them. Both men said they had met each other in the prison and they posed no security threat to each other.
The court also previously heard that the respondents all denied that Thompson's prison regime was oppressive.
They said that after the action was launched, Thompson was given access to four other prisoners and that he had started at the prison's school in September.
They also argued that Thompson had been provided with better access to facilities including the gym, recreation, open-air exercise and other services.