Northern Ireland news

Father seeks answers about son's prison death

Paul McConville is seeking answers from the Prison Service about his son's death

THE FATHER of a man who took his own life in Maghaberry prison last month is seeking answers from the authorities about his son's death.

Father-of-two Daniel McConville (22) died on August 30, the day before he had been due in court on a drugs charge.

His father Paul has said he will protest outside the Co Antrim jail until he is told what happened to his son.

Mr McConville described his son as "mischievous like any child"..

He said Daniel had learning difficulties and suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

"If he wasn't on his medication, he would have maybe got a bit temperamental and lost his temper," he said.

He said news of his son's death came from a priest and the Prison Service had not made direct contact with the family since.

"I heard nothing then and I've heard nothing now, and that's nearly three weeks later from his death," he said.

The grieving father said if he was not protesting at the prison, he would be looking after his son's children, aged four and nine months.

The director general of the Prison Service has said he would be happy to meet Mr McConville.

"It is very, very challenging in a prison context to monitor and observe prisoners at all times,"

Ronnie Armour told the BBC.

"Sadly Daniel was able to take his own life. We do regret that."

Mr Armour said Daniel had been carefully monitored before his death and was considered a prisoner at risk.

But director general of the Prison Service said that with 800 prisoners in Maghaberry, it was "very difficult to monitor an individual at all times".

The case is under investigation by the prison ombudsman.

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