Limerick gangland criminal Gary Campion wakes from coma

Convicted killer serving two life sentences found unresponsive in his cell on Thursday

A file image from 2009 of Gary Campion, who has emerged from a coma after being cound  unconscious in his cell at Mountjoy Prison on Thursday morning.

A file image from 2009 of Gary Campion, who has emerged from a coma after being cound unconscious in his cell at Mountjoy Prison on Thursday morning.

 

A Limerick gangland criminal serving two life sentences for gun murders has woken from a coma after being admitted to hospital in a critical condition on Thursday.

Gary Campion (32), from Moyross, was found unresponsive in a close supervision cell in Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, just before 8am on Thursday.

Garda sources said Campion regained consciousness in hospital on Friday. It is understood Campion became ill after a package of drugs apparently burst inside his body.

Prison sources said he had been placed in an observation cell amid suspicions he may have been passed drugs and concealed them internally.

In such cases prisoners are placed in close observation cells until they pass whatever contraband they have hidden in their bodies.

However, when Campion was due to be unlocked from his cell on Thursday morning, he was found unresponsive and staff immediately began trying to revive him.

He was treated in the prison for about 40 minutes and then taken by ambulance to the Mater Hospital beside the Mountjoy campus on the North Circular Road.

There were fears he was about to die and his next of kin were informed.

Small quantities of drugs for swallowing or packing into a prisoner’s body are usually wrapped in plastic that is designed to withstand being inside a human body for a number of days.

Some criminal elements specialise in sealing drugs inside reinforced capsules that do not dissolve in water and seldom split.

It appears Campion was passed drugs, but the packaging split and overwhelmed his internal system.

The Irish Prison Service confirmed a prisoner in Mountjoy had been hospitalised but said details of individual cases could not be disclosed.

Campion carried out a number of shootings for payment on behalf of both sides in a Limerick gangland feud.

In July 2009, then aged 26, he was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of ‘Fat’ Frankie Ryan on September 17th, 2006.

Campion had previously been in jail in relation to killing nightclub head of security Brian Fitzgerald, who was shot because he refused to allow the McCarthy-Dundon gang to sell drugs in the club where he worked.

Campion is suspected of at least two other murders and once threatened to kill a prison officer.