Manhunt underway after Irish prisoner escapes jail while on cigarette break
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Manhunt underway after Irish prisoner escapes jail while on cigarette break

A CONVICTED criminal is at large in Ireland after escaping from custody in Co. Laois, it has been revealed.

The fugitive – Darren McInerney – slipped away from prison officers on January 19, according to the Leinster Express.

A spokesperson for the Irish Prison Service told the paper that McInerney escaped from custody at Portlaoise Hospital's A&E department.

It is understood he managed to get out of his handcuffs while having a cigarette.

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A search was carried out immediately following the escape and gardaí have continued the manhunt this week.

McInerney was serving a two-year sentence for assault causing harm, for which he was convicted in June 2017.

Anyone who sees him or knows of his whereabouts is urged to contact gardaí immediately at any garda station.