Prisoners €500,000 interest free loans
»»Cons borrow cash over 3yrs »»one got €300 to buy a dog
PRISONERS have been given a total of €500,000 in interest-free loans over the past three years – including cash to buy a DOG.
They also borrowed money for games consoles and stereos, as well as helping to cover the cost of communions and confirmations for family members.
One female prisoner at the Dochas Centre in Dublin used a €300 loan to buy a dog last year, while an inmate at Limerick Prison had to borrow €290 to pay back money owed to the jail’s tuck shop.
The interest-free loans from the Irish Prison Service are repaid by deductions from prisoners’ pocket money each week. Inmates receive an allowance of up to €2.20 per day.
The Irish Prison Service said all loans are repaid “in general”, although inmates can walk away from the debt if they are released earlier than planned.
A spokesman added: “The criteria for providing loans to a prisoner are determined by each governor.
“Loans are given to prisoners for numerous reasons – for example, confirmations, communions, family birthdays, for issue to family members, to purchase radios, Playstations, toiletries, etc.
“Repayment plans are put in place based on a number of criteria, such as release dates, available cash balances, to ensure they are repaid prior to release. In general, all loans are repaid unless a prisoner is released earlier.”
Records released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed a total of €498,708 was loaned to convicted criminals over the past three years.
The biggest lender of €139,880 was the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise, which houses notorious killers Graham Dwyer, Mark Nash and Gerald Barry.
Loans include €300 for an Xbox at Limerick Prison and €300 for a stereo at Midlands Prison.