Sissors sister launches court bid to be transferred out of Limerick Prison

Aodhan. O'Faolain


Aodhan. O'Faolain


Sissors sister launches court bid to be transferred out of Limerick Prison

Convicted murderer Charlotte Mulhall is seeking to be transferred out of Limerick Prison

Convicted murderer Charlotte Mulhall has brought a High Court challenge aimed at securing a transfer from Limerick Prison back to the Dochas Centre woman's prison in Dublin.

The court heard that Mulhall was transferred to Limerick Prison from the Dochas Centre on December 24 2018 – two days after she was allegedly seen by a prison officer sitting on another prison officer while performing a beauty treatment.

In a sworn statement to the court Mulhall disputes that version of events, and says she has never been given the opportunity to address the prison authorities as to what she says actually occurred.

She claims that as a result of the move her Dublin-based family, for a variety of reasons, have not visited her since she was moved to Limerick.

The lack of visits, she says has caused "great stress and upset to her and her family members."

In her sworn statement she said that “I am lonely and sad” due to "the lack of visits from my family" and "I miss my dog who was part of canine programme I was undertaking prior to my transfer."

As a result, she has brought proceedings against the Irish Prison Service, the Governor of Limerick Prison, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Ireland and the Attorney General seeking a return to the Dochas Centre. 

Represented by Conor Power SC and Cian Kelly BL Mulhall seeks various orders including one directing the respondents to return her to Dublin, as well as an order quashing the decision to transfer her to Limerick. 

Mr Power said that despite the fact she was moved to Limerick just before Christmas 2018 she was not fully sure why she had been transferred to Limerick, where she enjoys enhanced or trusted prisoner status.

It was not until June 2020, following a Freedom of Information request, that his client got it writing why she had been transferred to Limerick. 

In the information obtained the Prison service said that Mulhall had been found “in a very compromising position with a prison officer”, that the relation between Mulhall and the female officer “has been the focus of media attention previously”.

The information obtained from the Prison Service under the FOI also stated that Mulhall was “involved in a number of high-profile liaisons while in Dochas,” which “received significant media coverage including adverse comment and that she should be transferred to Limerick “until further notice.”

Mulhall he said disputes that, and had she “been afforded the opportunity to address the situation which I was not, I would have told the governor exactly what happened and this transfer could have been avoided.”

Counsel said that if it is a case that his client was moved “as a punishment” then she was entitled to a hearing under prison disciplinary regulations. No such hearing had taken place.

Counsel if it was not a punishment then the prison authorities had not taken certain rights into account including her and her family's rights. Counsel added that this was an action his client is entitled to take and was not an attempt to 'micromanage' prison regimes.

The application for permission to bring the challenge came before Mr Justice Charles Meenan this Monday. 

The judge, noting that there is a large volume of case law about how courts should not micromanage prisons, said the application for leave should be heard in the presence of lawyers for the respondents.

The matter was adjourned to a date next month.

Known as the 'scissors sisters' Charlotte, and her sister Linda Mulhall, were convicted in 2006 of the killing of their mother's boyfriend Farah Swaleh Noor, in March 2005.

The dismembered body of Noor, who had a history of being extremely violent towards women, was found dumped in the Royal Canal, near Croke Park, some days afterwards.

Following a high-profile trial at the Central Criminal Court Charlotte, who was aged 21 years at the time of the killing, was found guilty of murder.  

Linda was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Linda was released in 2018.