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10 Aug 2022

Tracking devices placed on prison officer cars claims whistleblower

Listening devices also used in visitor areas

prison van

Devices placed on some pirson service vehicles.

Tracking devices have been used on prison officers' cars and conversations between solicitors and prisoners monitored as part of a surveillance operation to crack down on drug smuggling into jail, according to a report in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

The allegations are contained in a sworn statement to Laois TD and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan who has a large prison complex in his constituency inPortlaosie.

While the location of the operation is not identified, the Examiner reports that officers were unaware that their private cars were being tracked or that the prison vehicles they were driving were being monitored using such devices. 

Some of the devices were in place over an extended period with information reportedly passed to the Gardaí. 

It is also claimed that devices were placed in the visiting area of a prison and were active when prisoners met solicitors.

It is also alleged that cameras were installed to facilitate covert surveillance.

A private company installed the devices. It is claimed that security personnel were given false identifications when entering the prison.

The allegations have been made through a solicitor and not via the whistleblowers Protected Disclosures Act.

The Irish Prison Service declined to comment on the substance of the allegations.

The Irish Examiner is aware of the prison at the centre of the security operation.

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