Latest figures show that 96 mobile phones were seized in prisons in the first six weeks of this year.

A total of 45 were seized in Mountjoy, with 12 in Loughan House and ten each taken in St Patrick's and the Midlands prison in Portlaoise.

Overall, 728 mobile phones were seized in 2014, down from 805 the previous year.

The figures were obtained by TD Tommy Broughan from the Department of Justice.

The 2014 figures show that while 223 phones were seized in Mountjoy, there were no such seizures in Arbour Hill.

Responding to the figures, the Irish Prison Service said the availability of contraband continues to be a major challenge.

It said it is currently developing a new plan to tackle the issue which will include the introduction of technology to prevent mobile phone use, the expansion of the canine unit, and the introductions of a confidential telephone line where information on contraband smuggling can be given in confidence.

It also said since the introduction of enhanced security screening measures the number of seizures in our prisons has decreased year on year.  

In 2010 there were 1,718 seizures of mobile phones, compared to 728 in 2014.