HUMAN error has been blamed for the early release of a prisoner who was jailed for failing to give evidence at a trial in connection with the death of Cameron Blair.
No sanction for staff is expected after 20-year-old Craig O’Donoghue of Killala Court, Knocknaheeney was released early, after being sentenced to two months on July 21 by the Central Criminal Court.
He should have been due for release on September 1.
However, in an error at the time of his committal to the prison system, after his sentencing, his date of release was inputted as August 16 – the date on which he would have been released if given remission. However, those jailed for contempt of court are not entitled to remission, meaning O’Donoghue’s release date should have been inputted as being September 1.
A spokeswoman for the Irish Prison Service confirmed that the error had occurred and said the incident is being looked into.
It is understood the error was spotted by a staff member after he had been released.
The Irish Prison Service contacted the man’s solicitor and gardaí and the man returned to prison on August 17, of his own accord.
O’Donoghue was a witness in the trial of a person convicted of violent disorder at the scene of Cameron Blair’s murder in January 2020, at a house on Bandon Road.