Judge Kevin Kilraine asks can anything be done to keep drugs out of prison

A judge in Donegal asked today if anything could be done to keep drugs out of prison.

He was dealing with a defendant who received counselling for his addiction but relapsed when in Castlerea jail.

Judge Kevin Kilrane made his comments following the jailing for five years earlier this week of prison officer Jarlath Walsh who smuggled drugs and SIM cards into Mountjoy prison.

Judge Kilrane was dealing at Donegal District Court with a bail application by a 26-year-old man accused of offences while he was on temporary release from Castlerea Prison.

Mark Sheridan, who has a long list of convictions, told the court that he became dry while in White Oaks counselling centre in November.

He then was imprisoned for four months in December for previous drugs-linked offences.

He said there was no assistance in Castlerea Prison to aid recovery from alcohol and drugs addiction. He was supplied prescription drugs by a prison doctor but he also received heroin from inmates.

If given bail on the new offences he would return to daily counselling meetings.

Judge Kilrane said it would appear rather unfortunate that Sheridan cannot get treatment for his drug problem in prison.

He said that it was very worrying that he's getting drugs in prison.

He added that because Sheridan, of Pearse Road, Sligo, had 41 previous convictions and there was strong evidence he committed other offences while on temporary release from Castlerea, he would have to remand him in custody to Harristown Court on March 9.