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Thomas 'Slab' Murphy in Midlands Prison with Republic's most notorious murderers

By Wayne O'Connor

Published 29/02/2016

Killer: Graham Dwyer
Killer: Graham Dwyer

Thomas 'Slab' Murphy is to be offered educational programmes as he enters his first full week in prison.

He spent the weekend in his own cell in the Midlands Prison, Portlaoise, where many of the Republic's most notorious killers are held.

He was transferred from Dublin's Special Criminal Court to Portlaoise Prison on Friday, in accordance with a procedure for all prisoners who are found guilty in the non-jury court.

Murphy (66) spent less than an hour in Portlaoise before he was transferred to the Midlands Prison.

The move means that the alleged former IRA chief-of-staff is being kept away from prisoners with paramilitary links, who are normally kept in Portlaoise.

Among the inmates at the Midlands prison are Graham Dwyer and killer Mark Nash.

Depraved Dwyer (43) is serving a life term for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O'Hara (36) in 2012. The sadistic architect stabbed the Dubliner to death during sex.

Nash (43) murdered four people in four months, in two unrelated attacks.

The Irish Prison Service said it does not comment on individual prisoners, but a source confirmed that Murphy will not receive any special treatment.

"He might be high profile in the media but in terms of the prisoners, he is a normal prisoner who was brought in for fraud. Prisoners in Portlaoise don't consider themselves to be criminals. They see themselves as political prisoners.

"The likes of the IRA, while it is criminal activity - they don't deem themselves to be criminals despite being in jail for it. They see themselves as prisoners of war or political prisoners."

Murphy, now prisoner 102444, was found guilty on nine counts of failing to file tax returns between 1996 and 2004 and received an 18-month sentence.

"Because of his links to the IRA he had to be done in the Special Criminal Court. He has not been done for terrorist activity or things like that, he is in for fraud. On arriving he was given an outline of how his day will pan out and what will be available to him," added the source.

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