Belfast Telegraph

Father of Lurgan man who took his own life in Maghaberry demands answers from Prison Service

The father of a man who took his own life while being held in Maghaberry has vowed to continue a protest outside the prison until he is given answers from the authorities.

Daniel McConville (22), a father of two from Lurgan, died on August 30 the day before he had been due in court charged with possession of cannabis resin.

His father Paul told the BBC he will continue to protest outside the jail until he is given a full explanation from the Prison Service about what happened to his son.

Mr McConville said his son was "a lovable young boy" but had learning difficulties and suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

He said: "He was mischievous like any child, he made you laugh, he made you cry."

He added: "If he wasn't on his medication, he would have maybe got a bit temperamental and lost his temper.

"He had been in prison for fighting and fighting with people if he had drink on him."

Mr McConville claimed the Prison Service had not made direct contact with the family since a priest came to his home to break the devastating news of Daniel's death.

He said if he was not protesting at the prison he would be looking after his son's children, aged four and nine months.

"I heard nothing then and I've heard nothing now, and that's nearly three weeks later from his death," he said.

"I had to ring them the day after his death to ask where my son was and they told me that his body was in the Royal hospital morgue.

"My wife's crying every day, and the only reasons I'm here is because of anger."

Ronnie Armour, director general of the Prison Service, told the BBC he would be happy to meet Mr McConville but said a number of senior governors had already spoken to him.

He confirmed that Daniel was considered a prisoner at risk and had been carefully monitored.

Mr Armour said Maghaberry currently houses 800 prisoners and that it was "very difficult to monitor an individual at all times."

"We do our best. Our staff work in a very difficult and challenging environment," he said.

"Our staff do everything they can to support vulnerable prisoners such as Daniel".

Mr Armour said Maghaberry currently houses 800 prisoners and that it was "very difficult to monitor an individual at all times."

The case is under investigation by the prison ombudsman.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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