On 18 August 1974 nineteen IRA prisoners escaped from Portlaoise Prison.

A number of the prisoners overcame some of the warders, took their uniforms and then escaped disguised as prison officers.

The outbreak happened when prison officers were overpowered by a number of prisoners in the main cell block of the prison. The prisoners took their keys to gain access to an adjoining roof from which they were able to make their escape and also took the prisoner officers uniforms. The group used explosive charges to blow open the gates and make their escape.

A widespread Garda search is in progress. The prisoners made their escape in hijacked cars. Two of the cars were later found abandoned in Mountmellick and Portarlington.

Aidan Lynch, whose car was taken by the escaped prisoners, spoke to RTÉ News about what happened.

A RTÉ News report broadcast on 18 August 1974.