Prison officers questioned over money missing #Limerick jail

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Limerick Prison
Limerick Prison, where the €10,000 bail money went missing last November

PRISON officers and staff at #Limerick Prison have been questioned over €10,000 in missing bail money as a Garda probe continues, the Irish Prison Service has confirmed.

A spokesperson for the service confirmed that the money is still missing from the General Office as detectives from Roxboro Road Garda Station concluded their questioning of staff in recent days.

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“The matter remains an open investigation with An Garda Siochana”, the spokesperson said this Wednesday afternoon, but he would not be drawn on any changes in procedures or if a new safe had been installed at the jail.

The money, which remains unaccounted for, became the centre of a criminal investigation by Gardaí at Roxboro Road Station last November when it was reported missing having being paid in to the jail in August 2015.

The Prison Service confirmed that the €10,000 in cash was held at the General Office at the Mulgrave Street Prison and this Wednesday remained “unaccounted for” when the investigation was handed over to the Gardaí.

A forensic audit of prison accounts failed to uncover errors in book-keeping.

A Prison Service spokesman said it was normal practice for cash to be held at the General Office of the prison as bail money, anything from €500 up to €60,000, is paid in to prisons to secure the release of remand prisoners.

The area where cash is held is not be accessible to inmates, even those on enhanced regimes or with duties that would allow them movement through other areas of the prison.

The money had been lodged to secure the release of two inmates last August.

A two-day search followed and an internal investigation was undertaken.

The incident caused “consternation” at the prison, a source told the Limerick Post.

“Everyone was in a flap thinking that the money was just misplaced and would turn up but when it didn’t, it became a different story”.

The source went on to say that there was “a cloud of suspicion” surrounding staff and “that’s not good to have”.

“The search failed to throw-up anything and the place was turned upside-down”, the source added.