A prisoner has been found dead in his cell in the Midlands Prison in Portlaoise this morning.

Michael Keating, 36, from Co Kildare, was found unresponsive by prison officers at 6.30am.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed. An ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead an hour later.

The man’s family has been informed.

Foul play is not suspected

Gardaí and the Director of Prisons have been notified and the Prison Service has begun an inquiry

It is the second sudden death in custody in 24 hours.

Dougie Ward, 39, was found dead in his cell at Mountjoy jail in Dublin yesterday morning.

He had been serving a sentence for the manslaughter of 18-year-old Niall Dorr from Dundalk in 2010.