Three inmates have been recaptured after escaping from Loughan House open prison in Co Cavan last night.

All three were detained last night by gardaí. The alarm was raised at 6.30pm yesterday.

It is understood dog handlers and a PSNI helicopter were used in the search operation.

Two of the men gave themselves up within two hours of the escape.

The third escapee was pursued on the northern side of the border, but was eventually arrested in the Republic by gardaí.

The escapes are the latest embarrassment for the Irish Prison Service.

Martin McDermott fled from the unit in March just 12 days after being transferred there.

McDermott was jailed for seven years last July for the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin in 2009 after ramming him with a car.

The 26-year-old was later arrested in Derry by the PSNI.

It was the second time McDermott had fled from Loughan House and prison chiefs were forced to apologise for the transfer.