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resigned Prison officer quits her role after ‘relationship with gangland inmate is discovered’

Mobile phone is found in inmate’s cell and pornography is detected on his laptop, it is alleged

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Wheatfield Prison in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Wheatfield Prison in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Wheatfield Prison in Dublin. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A female prison officer who is at the centre of an alleged inappropriate relationship with a gangland criminal has resigned from her positio,.

The woman, understood to be in her 30s, “quit the job” before her bosses in the Irish Prison Service (IPS) got an opportunity to quiz her about the matter.

The officer was based in a Dublin prison and resigned after returning from a holiday.

It is understood gardaí plan to question the ex-prison officer after a female officer colleague of hers was subjected to alleged “grave threats” by the prisoner with whom the now-former officer was alleged to be in a relationship.

The alleged threats happened on mobile phone communication from a phone within the jail.

This happened after the under-threat woman allegedly uncovered the suspected prison relationship when the two officers were together within the last two weeks.

While the IPS can no longer question the resigned prison officer at the centre of the case, officers did search the cell of the inmate on Thursday and seized an illegal mobile phone.

In follow-up searches officers located a laptop that the gangster had been using for a college course and discovered there was pornography on the computer.

“This prisoner has that device for the purpose of doing a college course. There is no way that he would have access to porn on the internet so the belief is that this stuff was brought to him on a USB stick from the outside,” a jail insider explained.

The exact nature of the pornography has not been determined but sources say that both the phone and laptop have been handed over to gardaí who are analysing both items.

An IPS spokesman said when contacted: “The Irish Prison Service does not comment on ongoing investigations.”

However jail sources say senior prison management are “very concerned” that such an alleged relationship could happen in one of the higher security jails in Ireland. The prisoner cannot be named for legal reasons as he is facing additional serious charges before the courts.

He is from the capital’s northside and is considered a key player in the ‘Mr Big’ drugs organisation.

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Mr Big is one of the most feared gang bosses in the capital and the State.

The gang boss, who like his associate in jail cannot be identified for legal reasons, has been involved in the higher levels of organised crime for more than 15 years.

Based in Coolock, he is also the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Real IRA terror boss Alan Ryan. Gardaí believe he runs a drug-trafficking network on an international scale.

His jailed 29-year-old associate at the centre of the alleged relationship scandal is understood to be one of a number of his associates behind bars who are serving time for offences linked to his crime network.

The female prison officer who is understood to have alerted the authorities about the case has been given security advice by gardaí and is being transferred to work in a “special arrangement”.

Sources say she is planning on leaving her home.

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