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Third Assault in Mountjoy Prison leads to Death of Inmate

category dublin | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Tuesday August 01, 2006 20:07author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageables Report this post to the editors

Serious Assaults in Mountjoy.

Last week a non-national was stabbed in the eye in Mountjoy Prison.
There was some media coverage which stated that his injuries were
not life-threatening. He had been stabbed and beaten.

He had been incarcerated for the murder of his wife 24 hours before the incident.

Early this morning, the death of paul Douch took place in the lower wing of the jail.
He had requested to be moved into the protective wing twenty four hours before his
death. There appear to be three separate inquiries into his death.

Minister Mc Dowell has said he regretted the death and will investigate.
On the 22nd of May 2006, there was a serious knife attack on a 22 year old inmate.
Little detail is available as to the circumstances of this attack. That brings to
three reported incidents of assault causing actual bodily harm and death in the
state prison services in as many months.

Mountjoy is due to be sold and the inmates are to be moved as part of the
Dept of justice rationalisation /centralisation of he services.

One proposed site for a new State of the Art prison is at Thornton Hall
which is subject to planning dispute with the local community and
inquiry into the costing price of the lands.

The inmate who was moved to protective custody at his own request, was placed in a cell
(apparently with the men who murdered him). One man has been charged with a crime
related to the incident.

author by C Murraypublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The new rules governing contraband which include mobile phones have caused
one strike and there are three more in the offing. prison officers are objecting to being
searched 'on their own time'- I will add in link.

The notoriety of the mobile phone in prison was caused by a radio show discussion with
an inmate that pissed off ex-minister for Justice Micheal Mc Dowell- he banned it.
The Prisoner who did the talk show has since died (RIP).

At the same time the UK is importing the US military super-prison, with three huge complexes
being planned and built. This was John Reid's area- a huge amount of human rights abuses
occurred during the Blair regime, culminating in the suicides of women prisoners who were
serving short sentences. The research can be got by using the search engine at

The US military Industrial prison, which is where poor people go was planned in the
Phoenix Park as part of the new criminal courts complex and of course Thornton Hall
never got off the ground due to enquiries over the price of the land etc. Privatising
prisons and places of detention is part of FF/PD policy, two separate reports
on Irish prisons were avilable through the European Committee for the prevention of

[The POA website contains a link to all recent Press releases]

author by weston limerick thug - bad inmatespublication date Thu Dec 06, 2007 18:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The joy is a shit hole.Thats y they put all the thugs up there and kept da rats away.there is meant to be people being moved from limerick prison to mountjoy because of dowell is good for nothing but giving out

author by Linkerpublication date Mon Jun 25, 2007 20:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

[New suit/same problems]

Related Link:
author by C Murraypublication date Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Without too much revelation, the nicest kids I met when teaching
were ex-offenders of Pat's and the Joy.

A large % of them are dead now.(RIP)

We await the inquiry:- Five men were in the holding cell with Douch.
Basic rights:- the section Of Statute Book I published is on visiting committees,

We are all aware that basic human rights are not adhered to:-

1. Right to privacy.
2.Right to rehab/psych
3. right to education.
4.conjugal rights. on leaving prison.
5.right to safety.

This is not happening, The POA have been trying to get change,
their campaigns appear to be suppressed.

Amnesty should be involved at this stage- and I do not say that lightly.

author by Kevin T. Walsh - Social Justice and Ethicspublication date Fri Mar 09, 2007 21:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors


I have read your various articles on Irish prisons, written over the last number of months and I say well done.

Yes a Committee of Human Rights in the EU have written to McDowell condemning the conditions in which we incarcerate young people in our prisons. I have written many articles in relation to Cork prison over the last few years, on the Indymedia website.

Down the years working for Simon, I met many ex prisoners from all over Ireland who did time in Cork, on the streets and homeless. One particular night - I had travelled from Galway and booked into a B & B off O'Connell Street. It was owned by a family from Meath (near Trim). Her son at the time was doing 3 years for an assault - this lady in tears told me her story.

She had visited her son when he was transferred from Cork to Castlerea Prison one Saturday. He told her that one night in Cork, in a two man cell, at 2.00 a.m. that he banged the door for help from the prison warders on duty. His cell mate was engaged in self harm (cutting his wrists). Two warders stood at the door, laughing and calling at him to do it.....Kill yourself. You are worthless anyway.

The mother had tears in her eyes telling me her son's story. The inmate was finally seen to after 20 minutes and his wounds were bandaged but her son never forgot that night. (He was transferred from Cork to Castlerea, in Roscommon because he complained of that night in question to the Governor)/

She then went on to say that he finished his sentence in Roscommon under the guidance of a very humane Governor, Dan Scannell, who rarely gets media coverage. I ask the question why?

This man will bear the scars from John Lonergan's orders to send him to Cork from Mountjoy because of a row he had with a prison warder. No-one ever mentions the BLOCK in Cork - Again, I ask why?

It is against all human rights standards across Europe - yet Lonergan sends down young prisoners from Mountjoy to Cork each month.
In my 28 years in Simon from 1983 - Lonergan's name kept coming up among the homeless people - 3 ironically prison warders sacked for alcohol abuse by the same prison Governor.

You mentioned Mellett (investigating the murder of the young boy called Douch in a 7 man cell). Ask yourself the questoin Chris - how no prison warder or cell mate heard the man scream. How could it be that no warders came to help. All you have to do Chris is visit the Hut pub in Phibsboro on any given night and you will experience the conversations of a few warders before going on prison duty.......

You mentioned Denehy of the POA. He comes from Kerry. In my opinion he is a totally anti-Lonergan man. You see Chris. Lonergan tells the media for a quarter of century that his hands are tied.......the same old rhetoric and excuses.

Before I finish, we live now in a very agressive society and the prison service is accountable for a percentage of this. The prison service must take responsibility for a percentage of this in that a number of young men and women leave the prison service bitter.

I will close by saying that Lonergan was chosen as a YES Govenor something similar to Yes Minister tv programme.

Chris - you would be shocked at the number of staff suicides in the last 20 years.

Yes, I agree with you Thornton Hall is a complete chaotic joke. Some night I will write an article about mental health in Irish prisons......

'In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of society'
Alexander Solzhenitsyn - Russian Dissident

author by C Murraypublication date Tue Mar 06, 2007 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There was a stabbing incident in Mountjoy Prison today:-
Mainstream media are reporting that a man was stabbed with a broken broom handle
and that he was taken to hospital, where his injuries are not thought to be 'life-threatening'

author by niallpublication date Thu Jan 25, 2007 07:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the man murdered in mountjoy was a friend of mine.his name was gary,not paul as you stated.i was in mountjoy when it happened,but i didnt see the attack.if you knew the full details of what really happened in that holding cell it would turn your stomach.dont talk about things if you dont no what your talking about..

author by c murraypublication date Sat Dec 30, 2006 13:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Prison Service and the Gardai have launched two enquiries into the death
of a 28 year old man in the Midland's prison in Portlaoise.

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 17, 2006 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Prisons service in this State is worse than it ever was. The POA are working up to a strike.
Education and psych services have been cut.

The number of suicides of prisoners are rising and some do it when released.
The majority of suicides are young men and a few were on remand, for petty crimes.
The murder and attempted murder have not been inquested yet.
The murder of one prisoner who soughjt protective custody happened in a holding cell
where thre were 6 men, he was beaten to death in our prison system.

The pancea for all ills is the highly questionable Thornton site:
The buying process has been criticised by the C and AG.
The buying process is subject to Oireachtas Investigation.

Prisoners endure harsh treatment including the slopping out system.
A drugs regime.
No supports for the mentally ill.
No access to education.

Its called being de-humanised.

The majority of prisoners come from socially deprived backrounds which in this Thatcherite
era are getting more violent.
The Department of Justice response is to appoint bureacratic leaders such as
John Fitzgerald (Moyross).

In 2006. Minister Mc Dowell will publish his Prisons Bill in which he will introduce
mandatory drug testing and video-conferencing. Thus prisoners can be tried from the

The victims of crime are not getting much relief either, the conviction figures for rape
and sexual abuse are very low. The DRCC claims that the courts intimidate victims
placing them in proximity to alleged perpetrators. The Prison Officers are not listened to
in fact you could say the whole issue is fucked up from both the side of the victim
and the perpetrator. (unless you have access to a very expensive lawyer and can openly
pervert the course of justice- you're fucked, really).

Thornton Hall is not resolved and Mountjoy will be selling as part of a Property parcel in the
area. 'Number Crunching' is what this administration is about- plain and simple.

There is a right for prisoners to rehabilitation, and human treatment.

author by hypocriticalpublication date Fri Nov 17, 2006 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

All these people have names, but they are not considered as people by the number-crunchers.

Indeed shame the people they killed/assualted/robbed/raped are not considered people eitheir, by the offenders or the number-crunchers

Tis a 2 way street

author by C Murraypublication date Fri Nov 17, 2006 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This time in Cloverhill.

NO PM yet- but he was in his twenties and in the prison complex
less than 24 hours.

The thing appears to be drug-related, but no PM.

That a lot of deaths in the prisons and on the streets this year.

One Murder.
One serious assault.
Two suicides.
Three prevented suicides.
One , Cause of death unknown.

All these people have names, but they are not considered as people by the number-crunchers.

author by Chris murraypublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prisons Bill 2006.

presumably at

reports on radio state:
That he intends to bring in mandatory drug testing.
Sell off Mountjoy
and introduce video-conferencing in relation to some criminal trials.

No reaction from the POA- or IPS (yet).

a lot of legislation upcoming.

1. Privacy and Defamation.
2.Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill.
3.There is also the question of the ongoing SIB, the TDR lobby in the EU
and the introduction of the Constitutional Referendum on the rights of the child.

Last seen introducing: Curtailment of rights of EU bulgarian and Romanian citizens to work here
for a period of seven years.

There will probably be an inquiry into Rossport too......

author by tepublication date Thu Aug 24, 2006 22:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's terrible that another man -a twenty one year old -has been confirmed dead there..That's the second death in 24 hours at the Joy . There's a brief report on the rte website.
Somebody told me that the already barely tolerable situation for prisoners has been exacerbated recently by a hash "drought ".

author by toe-tapepublication date Thu Aug 24, 2006 21:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gary Douch (21) was buried on the 22/08/06. He died as a result of a violent attack
in Mountjoy Jail on the 1/08/06. (RIP)

author by toe-tapepublication date Thu Aug 24, 2006 20:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A man was found hanging in an isolation cell at three thirty this morning in the
Joy. Twenty-four hours previously he had asked to be moved for his own safety.
The Mellett report set up after the death of Gary Douch (by Minister Mc Dowell)
suggested that prisoners in crisis be moved into isolation, this apparently
has been implemented. The man (not named) was thirty eight and doing
eighteen months for minor offences. Mr Mc Dowell had called for the immeadiate
implementation of the initial report, the POA said it was unworkable due to
over-crowding. When Mr Douch died (24 hours after requesting protection)
he was in a holding cell with six other men, one of whom had been transferred
from the central mental hospital= 2 deaths (assault and suicide) in one month and
three assaults leading to bodily harm.

author by Archivistpublication date Sat Aug 19, 2006 14:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The resultant of the meeting between the POA and IPS was unsatisfactory. Issues of health
and safety and violence had led to demands for the re-opening of the Curragh and the Spike.

Press releases by the POA suggest that meetings were sought between their reps
and the Minister for justice in relation to the four serious assaults at the prison, one of which led to the death of inmate Gary Douch on the first of August 2006.

The ballot for strike action has been instigated.

compare and contrast with the IPS site, which limits press release and
has one refernce to Thornton Hall:

Related Link:
author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Thu Aug 10, 2006 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The POA, having not achieved the ear of the IPS is set to ballot
for strike action. The IPS claims that the men at the Joy have
adequate education and training facilities and the POA say
not. They are willing to test the issue by striking.
(now who appoints the IPS?)

Statements issued by the POA last week said that training facilities,
education facilities and inhuman slopping out conditions had added to
the atmosphere which led to four brutal attacks.

Minister Mc Dowell , himself acknowledged that the EU
had criticised the availability of facilities to prisoners, but all
is fine and dandy according to IPS.

A kid goes in and comes out destroyed but it's not an election
issue because crime is spun and treated crudely by the offices
of the justice dept. The POA states that conditions in Mounjtjoy
are the worst in thirty years.

The Curragh and the Spike are not for negotiation and Thornton is held
in abeyance by high property values and a dail enquiry into the bidding process.

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 20:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bed capacity/Cell capacity overfull. Resources taken from workshops and education
programmes. The only social and leisure activities are in the exercise yards and
compounds. The P.O..A are demanding a re-opening of the Curragh Prison and
Spike Island.

The I.P.S (Irish Prison Service) are 'locked'in meeting.

No statement from the Dept of Justice, (as yet) as to why there is a deliberate
running down of services and education for inmates, or response to the violence
of the situation for inmates.

Meanwhile Vast amounts of money for developing Thornton Hall were spent
by the Dept of Justice and the Lands at the Joy were to be sold to developers.
Apparently, according to spokesperson John Clinton the situation is the
worst in the services in thirty years.

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Wed Aug 09, 2006 14:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Agenda includes : The four attacks on prisoners . There are few details, but a press
release will probably be issued.

Dept of Justice website carries one press release on the issue of
under-financing the prison services at :

A call for implementation of the Mellett proposals, which cannot according to the
Prison Officers association be done, due to the fact that there is no solitary
confinement available in Mountjoy. A more detailed comment on Mellett's review
is on another comment, entitled: Sack of Cats.

Related Link:
author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Fri Aug 04, 2006 18:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The POA has requested a lock-down at Mountjoy jail after another serious stabbing incident.
The fourth in a matter of months, the 28 year old victim is being stabilised in the Mater

He was found with wounds in the stomach and back. The POA stated that the men have
nothing to do, live in appalling conditions and there is a drug problem as well as
lack of support services at the jail.

The mainstream media are saying that a ' State of emergency' has been called and all available
staff have been drafted in. The victim is unnamed as yet. meanwhile there have been
no updates from Mr Mc Dowell's office as to adherence to the Mellet Interim report, which
suggests solitary for prisoners in need of protection. The IPS denies that the facility exists
in the light of the over-crowding problem.

author by Cats in a sackpublication date Thu Aug 03, 2006 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Michael Mellet , appointed by Michael Mc Dowell has given an interim report which says that
any prisoner seeking bodily protection should be locked up in isolation for 24 hours, whilst
their claim (fear) is investigated.

Michael Mc Dowell Td has asked that this interim direction be immeaditely adhered to....

Only problem is , the POA (prison officers Association) said by letter that there are no
available isolation cells (to Mc Dowell) a little while ago. The general secretary of the POA
Mr Eugene Dennehy, has relesaed information regarding the facilities of the prison at
Mountjoy that Minister Mc Dowell seems to be unaware of.

author by Thornton Residentpublication date Thu Aug 03, 2006 18:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thornton is not the answer and is just another example of a Minister who has lost his way. The need to close Mountjoy is clear but the need for a new prison is not. Look - the Irish Penal Reform Trust website. McDowell cares not one whit for prisoners or their families - real estate speculation is his new game. The building of a prison in Thornton will destroy that area and give them an excuse and a place to incarcerate more people for non payment of fines, for being mentally ill, for daring to seek asylum in this country. Oh but of course I am only a Nimby - anyone who tries to protect their area from a totally unsustainable development and protect their environment is a Nimby!

Re-open the Curragh, Re-open Spike Island. Put in place community sanctions for non-violent offences.

The latest propaganda publication from the Department of Justice aims again to rewrite history regarding the purchase of Thornton. What a shameful and corrupt country we live in.

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Thu Aug 03, 2006 11:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The ongoing problems of over-crowding and lack of pscyhiatric supports in the prison services
cannot be shoved into a box by the Minister for Justice. The night that Gary Douch was attacked
leading to his death , he was incarcerated in a cell with six other men. He had asked to be moved
for his own protection.

Damning reports have been published on lack of facilities in Irish Prisons: these include
services to the depressed and to the psychiatrically ill. Prisoners with a history of violence
are incarcerated for long periods, with little excercise and in over-crowded conditions.
Reports about the attack on Goodwill Udechuku on the 29th/07/06 , who was in the first
twenty-four hours of a life sentence for the murder of his wife and had a history of violence
are largely ignored in the light of ongoing serious problems at the complex.

In the case of Gary Douch, the concept of segregation was unworkable. The bed-capacity at the
jail is over-subscribed. Younger prisoners are being admitted into conditions of violence
and segregation is not working. Reports that Gary Douch, when moved, was asked if the
new below stairs unit was suitable: he 'indicated' yes. He was found dead a number of
hours later. Consistent dail questions about death through suicide and violent assault
are not answered by the Department of Justice.

This morning I went to the Dept Website, Press release section -No allusion or reference
to the three separate inquiries into Gary Douch's death.

The Mountjoy Prison Website is similar. There are annul reports on the right, the central
column has a 'How to get there section'. and the press releases on the left make no reference
to the recent spate of assaults.

Related Link:
author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 15:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

" With the Tanaiste, I am determined to bring an end to the scandalous neglect which this state has shown to prisoners with Mental health problems and psychiatric illnesses. It is our intention to replace the victorian mental health hospital with a state of the art forensic psychiatric facility. It is my hope that this development will dovetail with the new building of our prison estate"

The scandalous state of mental health services is not alone confined to the 'correctional' system.

The death, after three reported violent assaults on inmates. Over-crowding, (there were 7 men in the
cell at the time of the murder).

It can't be blamed alone on the architectural functionality of the Joy. We are the richest economy in Europe and individuals are left behind in the mentality of 'race to the top ' achievment(merit-o-cracy).

The issue of the buying of the Thornton Hall lands and the pricing therof is detailed in the
same report that the quote is taken from. The bed capacity at Mountjoy is currently overfull.
The practice of severe drug use, lack of services to the mentally ill (and suicidally depressed)
are an ongoing issue, as is the practice of 'slopping out' in that complex.

Inhumane was the word Michael Mc Dowell used to describe the treatment of inmates
though his theory was grounded in the new property- delayed-
He cited the report from the EU on inhumane treatment .

The cabinet formally approved the site at Thornton Hall on January 26th 2005. After a lengthy
process of selection. The seller of the lands and the process is desribed in the links
with the article.

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prison conditions all over the country are a disgrace.

One wonders at the cost of installing a cctv camera to monitor the segregated unit. Afterall visiting areas are very closely monitored.

In Limerick a young man is incarcerated - he killed his mother because she wouldn't give him a cigarette - he is very disturbed. He has never been tried. He's been in the prison now for quite a number of years. His father and family have campaigned for some years to have this man released into his father's custody.

The young man often got temporary release at weekends. He was intimidated by inmates to smuggle drugs into the prison. He'd 'bottle' (shove them up his arse) large ammounts and smuggle them back in after the weekends.

Anyway, this got to be too much for the man and he was moved for his own protection, to the segregated unit in the prison. This happened a little over a year ago and I've heard nothing since. He may have finally been released into his father's custody, I don't know, but I doubt it.

Check out the prison statistics I've compiled - and be horrified and appalled - I am.
Murder is more than an image thing

author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The man questioned in relation to the murder of Gary Douch has been released without charge this morning. It transpires that seven men were in the cell in the segregated area in the lower part of Mountjoy jail on the evening morning of that murder. Mr Douch had asked to be moved for his own protection.

One of the inquiries is being chaired by Mr Mellett. There is no press-releas on the Dept of Justice website about the perameters of the inquiry, however if you enter Mellet into the dept search engine,
four reports appear which are variously entitled. One of them
'Report on Inhumane and Degrading Treatment by the IPS in Mountjoy prison' :- Compiled by
John Clinton- General secretary of the Prison Officers association.

Appendix A of the 2003-2004 report is interesting reading.

Reports in the dailies suggest that the bed capacity in the Joy was over-full on the night/morning of the murder and the suspected (now released assaulter) had recently been moved from Cloverhill Prison and The Central Mental Hospital where he was being treated.

Meanwhile Thornton Hall , which is state of the art- and apparently the answer to the question of INHUMANE treatment is locked in Price of Land controversy, Local opposition, and query.


Private members motions regarding the criterai for selecting that particular green-field site and
the sky-rocketing land costs, together with the opposition which centers around the issue of transport infrastructure in the area and refusal of Planning Permissions for a local creche are all to be found in the Public domain.

Michael Mc Dowell: " Conditions in Mountjoy have been severely criticised by the Council Of Europe Committee on the Prevention of Torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment. They have alos been roundly condemned by the Inspector of Prisons"

(in response to private members questions)

The perameters of the inquiries by the Dept of Justice, The Gardai and the Prison's Services
should be interesting given the ongoing problems in the service. Will update in the comments.

Related Link:
author by Chris Murray - The Unmanageablespublication date Wed Aug 02, 2006 00:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The murdered man was indeed Gary Douch, age 21.

(The 'critic' is correct. There is, however, an 'i' in critic).

This is the third reported attack in Mountjoy prison, wherein an inmate has incurred
severe injury and as it states in the headline, has died. Three separate incidents of
violent attacks have occured in the prison, which is to be sold by the Dept of Justice.

The last one less than a week ago involved an attack on a non-national who had
been incarcerated for 24 hours for the murder of his wife before he was beaten and
stabbed in the eye. he is currently recovering in the Mater hospital.

As to conditions at the prison, the Prison officer's dispute with Michael Mc Dowell
and the medieval slopping out, these are ongoing issues. The problem of widespread
drug use, lock-downs and limited fresh air facilities is also an ongoing problem.
Thornton Hall provides for the Dept of Justice a riposte, in that it is so designed as
to facilitate a prison with less over-crowding and more access to modern facilities
for prisoners.

The training wing and women's prison at the joy will also be sold. This area is quite new
and should be known to many including Joe Higgins as it is where people involved
in political protest have been incarcerated and is separate to the main prison area.

The lower wing where Gary died, is a segregated area. He asked to be moved there for
his own protection twenty four hours before his murder and was incarcerated with the
men who killed him. Some media reports stated that he was asked if the accomodation
was alright or suitable, to which he indicated " yes".

One man has been charged in relation to the assault which led to his death.

Again apologies for wrongly naming the victim.

author by crticpublication date Tue Aug 01, 2006 20:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What exactly was the imperitive that you posted these thoughts of yours, rambling from murder, assaults, prison over crowding and planning Chris? The unfortunate guys name was Gary Douch you couldn't even get that right.

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