Court cases delayed after suspected Covid outbreak in prison

May 24, 2021

A SUSPECTED outbreak of Covid-19 at Castlerea Prison has delayed some cases which were due before Letterkenny District Court today.

Authorities from Castlerea Prison contacted the Courts Service to advise them of the suspected Covid-19 case at the facility.

Preventative measures were subsequently put in place at the County Roscommon prison.

Tristan McAteer and Gavin Mitchell, who are currently in custody at Castlerea, were due to appear via video link before Letterkenny District Court this morning.

These matters were adjourned to the May 31 sitting of Letterkenny District Court.

Donegal Daily understands that the suspected Covid-19 case at Castlerea has since been declared as a false alarm.

Last week, the Irish Prison Service confirmed that it was managing two outbreaks of Covid-19, at Mountjoy Prison and Loughan House.

At Mountjoy Prison, 38 prisoners were confirmed to have contracted Covid-19.

An Outbreak Control Team was established at Loughan House after a prisoner tested positive.

The Irish Prison Service said: “The Irish Prison Service has been hugely successful in protecting the prison community from Covid-19 with the first case in a prison being confirmed in August 2020 and in that case it was a person who was committed to custody with the virus.

“Through the introduction of robust infection control measures and an internationally recognised Contact Tracing System the Service has successfully mitigated against the spread of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic 14 months ago.”

Castlerea Prison is a closed, medium security prison for adult males and is the committal prison for remand and sentenced prisoners in Connacht, while also taking committals from counties Donegal, Cavan and Longford.