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Mountjoy inmate who was injured after attack by group of prisoners has died

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 03/08/2022 Niall O'Connor and Orla Dwyer
File image of Mountjoy Prison sign. © Sam Boal Photocall Ireland File image of Mountjoy Prison sign.

A MOUNTJOY PRISONER who had been hospitalised with serious injuries last week has since died. 

The victim has been named by sources as Robert O’Connor (34) of Snowdrop Walk, Darndale, Dublin 17.

He was attacked by a group of other prisoners at Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison last Friday – just days after he was sentenced for firearms offences.

The Irish Prison Service confirmed his death in a statement this morning.

A spokesperson for the IPS said: “The prisoner seriously injured in an incident in Mountjoy Prison on Friday 29th July 2022 has died.

“The Irish Prison Service wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends at this time.”

The spokesperson said the incident continues to be investigated by the prison service and gardaí. All deaths in custody are subject to investigation by the Inspector of Prisons.

O’Connor had received treatment for his injuries at the Mater Hospital in Dublin. 

He was serving a sentence for possession of a semi-automatic pistol in Finglas on October 13, 2021. His previous convictions include drugs offences, stealing cars, criminal damage, theft and road traffic offences.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard during sentencing in on July 27 last that O’Connor had told gardaí that he was carrying the loaded firearm in a plastic bag for other criminals. He said that he was forced to do it to pay off a drugs debt.

Also in the bag were two jackets, gloves and a mask – known in gangland as a so-called “murder kit”. 

Sources have said that O’Connor was assaulted in his cell by at last four prisoners. 

An investigation has been launched and detectives from Mountjoy Garda Station will examine prison CCTV systems as well as the results of a detailed forensic examination of the cell where he was attacked. 

 

It is understood that at least two prison officers were on the prison landing when the incident happened and immediately attempted to intervene.

A number of theories on motive are being examined by gardaí including one theory that it was a revenge attack ordered from outside the prison.

One source said that O’Connor had fallen out with a number of criminals for various incidents and each of those incidents would be examined as part of the investigation.  

A garda spokesperson said the man passed away in the early hours of this morning. 

“A post mortem is scheduled to take place later today the results of which will determine the course of the investigation,” they said. 

“Investigations into this matter are ongoing.”

A spokesperson for the Prison Officers Association who sent their condolences to O’Connor loved ones. 

“We have learned that a prisoner who was violently assaulted in Mountjoy Prison in recent days has regretably died.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, at this most difficult time for them. We will not comment further at this time, as this entire matter is the subject of a Garda investigation,” he said. 

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