INMATES at Limerick Prison have been saying cheese in recent weeks as the Irish Prison Service updates the photographic database for its population.
The exercise arises from a case in which gardai had to depend on a 12-year-old image in their efforts to track down a prisoner unlawfully at large from another prison.
All new committals at the Mulgrave Street jail have their photograph taken as a matter of course. But concerns were raised with Justice Minister Alan Shatter that the appearance of longer-serving prisoners could change significantly over the period of their incarceration.
A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service confirmed that the exercise at Limerick Prison is now complete and inmates serving lengthy sentences will from now on have their images “updated every couple of years”.
Minister Shatter has written to crime victims support group Advic that the Prison Service has commenced action to address the problem and images would be regularly updated.
Advic had raised concerns in relation to the case of Martin Myles, one of two men convicted of the killing of 59-year-old Patrick Clinton in County Louth in 2000.
Gardai had to rely on a 12-year-old photograph when trying to trace Myles after he absconded from Shelton Abbey Prison in County Wicklow. He later handed himself in.