Prisoner dies following stabbing attack in Cork prison

Graham Johnson from West Cork was serving a 5-year sentence for robbery and larceny

A 41-year-old man has died following a stabbing in Cork Prison on Saturday evening.

Graham Johnson, who was serving a five year sentence for robbery and larceny, was stabbed by another prisoner after a row broke out over a TV remote control in the kitchen of the prison at about 5pm.

It’s understood that there may have been up to nine other inmates present in the TV viewing area in the prison on Rathmore Road when the fatal assault happened.

Gardaí believe Johnson, who was from West Cork, was stabbed once in the chest with a shank of metal by his assailant after a row broke out.


Gardaí in Watercourse Road, who are investigating the death, are examining whether a row broke out over the choice of TV channel

The alarm was raised and Johnson was treated at the scene by prison staff but was pronounced dead by a doctor in the prison.

Gardaí were notified and the area was cordoned off. The body remained at the scene on Saturday where it was examined by a pathologist from the State Pathologist’s office.The body was later removed to Cork University Hospital for a full post-mortem.

It’s understood that Graham Johnson - who had been granted temporary release at Christmas - was nearing the end of his five year sentence with one year suspended imposed in November 2011.

The man suspected of the fatal assault, who is currently on remand for a serious assault in Cork city earlier this year, was returned by prison officers to his cell.

The inmate suspected of carrying out the attack, who is from Co Waterford, remains in detention in the prison. It's understood that it may be several days before gardaí seek to interview him about the fatal stabbing.

Under Irish legislation, gardaí must apply to a district court for a Section 42 warrant to enable them arrest anyone in prison for questioning about any offence.

It’s expected that garda technical experts will carry out a forensic examination of the scene while it’s believed that they will also check CCTV footage to try and establish what exactly happened.

Graham Johnson had pleaded guilty to robbery and larceny when he appeared before Judge Patrick Moran at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in November 2011.

On that occasion, the court was told the man had stolen €15,000 from his employer and later held up staff at a gold shop in an armed robbery to feed his chronic gambling addiction.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times