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Mountjoy death prompts murder probe

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After the death of a Mountjoy inmate, a murder investigation was initiated.

Garda are investigating the murder of a 34-year-old inmate at Mountjoy Prison. Robert O’Connor from Darndale, Dublin, died last night. The autopsy is over.

He was severely injured in his cell on Friday night. Intensive care at Mater Hospital. O’Connor had been in jail since October but was sentenced two days before the horrific attack.

The Prison Service expressed sympathy to his family and said it would assist garda with inquiries. The attack on O’Connor lasted only seconds, but he suffered catastrophic injuries.

Garda are examining if the incident was related to a drug debt, a prison row, or O’Connor’s foiled gun attack.

A family liaison officer and incident room have been established. They’ve interviewed several detainees but don’t expect cooperation.

CCTV footage of the area and the suspects’ clothes were obtained, and four guys were isolated in prison. The landing and cell were forensically examined.

Irish Penal Reform Trust Executive Director Saoirse Brady said violent jail fatalities are rare. In this situation, Ms. Brady told RTÉ’s News at One, there was no perceived threat.

More than 500 convicts are on a “restricted regime” for protection, which entails 19-hour cells. In April, 575 detainees requested protective custody.

O’Connor received a 6.5-year prison sentence. He pled guilty after being found with a loaded semi-automatic weapon in Dublin last year.

Mountjoy conducted a threat assessment and transferred him following an incident. O’Connor had no safety concerns and wasn’t placed in protective custody.

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