Man arrested for questioning over Cork Prison killing

Detectives quiz 30-year-old man over fatal stabbing in prison kitchen last weekend

Gardaí investigating the fatal stabbing of a 41-year-old prisoner at Cork Prison last week on Friday arrested a 30-year-old man for questioning over the killing.

Detectives arrested the suspect at Cork Prison and brought him to Mayfield Garda station for questioning about the fatal assault on Graham Johnson, a father of three.

Mr Johnson was serving a five-year sentence for robbery and larceny when he was stabbed to death during a row in the prison kitchen at about 5pm last Saturday.

Mr Johnson suffered a single stab wound to the chest in the row and prison nursing staff attended to him at the scene. He was pronounced dead a short time later by a doctor.

Mr Johnson was one of a number of inmates with enhanced prisoner status who were working in the kitchen at the time when a row broke out between himself and another enhanced status prisoner.

It's understood the row centred on a TV remote control, with one man wanting to watch horseracing and the other wanting to watch Steven Gerrard's last game for Liverpool.

Enhanced prisoner status was introduced in 2012 to incentivise prisoners to behave well and it involves prisoners being allowed work in areas such as the kitchen or laundry.

A postmortem on Mr Johnson's body carried out on Monday by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy confirmed he had died of a single stab wound to the chest.

Garda technical experts had earlier recovered a knife from the kitchen area which they believe was used in the fatal assault on Mr Johnson, who was from Ardan, Bandon, West Cork.

Detectives obtained a Section 42 warrant from Cork District Court last Monday to allow them to arrest the suspect at Cork Prison and take him to a Garda station for questioning.

Officers executed the warrant at Cork Prison early in the morning and arrested the suspect, who is originally from Co Waterford and has been in custody in relation to a robbery.

The man was detained at Mayfield Garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, which allows gardaí to hold suspects for up to 24 hours before they are released or charged.

Mr Johnson, who is survived by his mother, three children, brothers and sisters, was buried following requiem Mass at St Patrick’s Church in Bandon.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times