Figures provided to the Evening Echo by the Irish Prison Service, under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that 22 weapons were seized from inmates up to May 12 this year. This compares with 31 seized for the entire 12 months of last year.
Weapons found were crudely made by the inmates, and are known as shivs. In some cases, makeshift weapons are made by melting the top of a toothbrush and sticking a blade into it.
Similarly, the number of drug seizures is also up and has already surpassed last year’s numbers. Up to May 12, there were 22 seizures, compared with 21 last year.
So far this year, there have been 12 mobile phones seized — compared with 22 last year.
Meanwhile, production of hooch in the prison appears to be much less this year.
126 litres (266 pints) of the homemade alcoholic brew were found last year, with just 24 (50 pints) discovered this year.
Inmates produce the brew using everyday items such as apples, oranges and potatoes, which are left to ferment.
The resulting brew can be highly alcoholic and can also carry a risk of botulism.