| 8.6°C Belfast

PSNI join hunt after prisoner flees jail

PSNI dog handlers and the police helicopter were deployed to capture a prisoner who escaped to Northern Ireland from an open prison in the Republic.

In total, three inmates escaped from the prison, which has been at the centre of controversy over the transfer of dangerous criminals.

Two prisoners were detained on Tuesday night in the Republic after going on the run from Loughan House, just outside Blacklion in Co Cavan, the Irish Prison Service said.

A third man who made it across the border to Enniskillen was later arrested by the PSNI.

The escapes are the latest embarrassment for the Irish Prison Service over its operations at Loughan House after Martin McDermott — jailed for seven years last July for the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin in 2009 — fled from the unit in March.

The 26-year-old inmate was later arrested in Londonderry by the PSNI.

The Irish Prison Service recorded 86 inmate escapes from open prisons last year and at least 16 this year.

Belfast Telegraph