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File photo from February 2008 of John Gilligan leaving the Four Courts in Dublin. Julien Behal/PA Wire

John Gilligan sentenced over contraband mobile phone

The convicted drug deal has been given an additional six months for possession of a mobile phone, which is forbidden for prisoners.

CONVICTED DRUG DEALER John Gilligan has been handed additional jail time over the possession of a mobile phone.

RTÉ reports that Gilligan pleaded guilty to the phone possession and was sentenced to an additional six months in prison. He was due to be released in April 2013.

Gilligan is serving a 20-year sentence for drug dealing and an additional two years for threatening to kill two prison officers. In April of last year, he was sentenced to an additional eight months for possession of a contraband mobile phone while in Portlaoise Prison. Today’s sentencing relates to the possession of a phone at Portlaoise District Court in 2010.

Prisoners in are not allowed access to mobile phones. The Irish Prison Service says it searches prisoners when they are first admitted to prison, and when they return from court, prison visits or from temporary release.

It also says that it employs a number of different methods to search for contraband phones, including searching hollow chair legs, u-bends in toilets, and under floor boards.

Figures released by the Department of Justice last month revealed that over 15,000 contraband items were seized by prison officers over the past two years. The items, which included 2,787 weapons, were either discovered in cells or at prison entry points.

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