Near maximum remission for ex-Anglo chief David Drumm

Former Anglo Irish Bank executive received no special privileges, say sources

No special privileges were afforded to former Anglo Irish Bank senior executive David Drumm, justice sources have insisted. However, the Dubliner received very close to the maximum time possible off his time in prison under an early release scheme for which he was deemed eligible.

Drumm was sentenced on June 20th, 2018, to six years’ imprisonment for his crimes and was taken from the courts in Dublin that day in a prison van to Mountjoy Prison. He was checked into the jail as prisoner 102640.

The 54-year-old former Anglo chief spent seven months in Mountjoy before being moved to Loughan House, an open prison in Blacklion, Co Cavan. In Loughan House, prisoners sleep in rooms rather than cells and security is almost non-existent to the extent that prisoners could walk off the campus unimpeded at any time.

When being sentenced, for his role in a €7.2 billion banking fraud, by Judge Karen O’Connor at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in June 2018, Drumm was given credit for the 5½ months he had been in custody in the US before being brought back to Ireland to face the courts. He was also entitled – as all prisoners are – to remission of 25 per cent of his sentence.


When remission and the 5½ months served in the US were taken off his six-year sentence, he should have served four years and two weeks in prison in Ireland from the time he entered Mountjoy Prison in late June 2018. That would have made for a release date around the first week of July 2022. However, he was set free from Loughan House on Monday; making for one year and five months taken off his sentence.

Community return scheme

Drumm availed of what is called a community return scheme, under which 2,800 prisoners have been released early over the past nine years. Only prisoners deemed as posing no risk in the community meet the criteria for release.

Under the scheme, prisoners serving between one and eight years become eligible for early release when they have completed half of their headline sentence. But those who are successful in securing early release are often kept in jail for longer than half of their sentence before being released.

However, in Drumm’s case, he was freed just weeks after becoming eligible for release on completion of half of his six-year term. As such, he was among a group of prisoners who effectively benefited from having the biggest chunk of their sentence possible, or very close to it, taken off their time in jail.

Once released, they are supervised by the Probation Service until their sentence expires.

The Irish Prison Service has always insisted “community return” is not used to release prisoners early in an effort to ease pressure on the system when jails become overcrowded. Instead, they say the system is designed to ensure suitable prisoners can be identified for being freed early in a structured manner in a bid to ensure they do not re-offend.

Reviews of the scheme have shown more than 90 per cent of those prisoners released early under “community release” are successful on the programme in that they do not re-offend within a three-year period.