Sunday 23 October 2016

Editorial: Why no stab vest for every jail warden?

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

With six prison officers stabbed in six weeks, the 160 stab-proof vests promised by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald can't come soon enough.

Ms Fitzgerald is also promising batons and pepper spray and insists that the safety of prison staff is taken very seriously.

However, as was pointed out at the Prison Officers' Association conference, 160 vests for 3,500 staff falls somewhat short of what's required.

Our brave jail staff deal with some of Ireland's most violent thugs and murderers every day of the week yet, as one said recently, they're less well protected that security workers on the Luas.

That situation sits uneasily alongside revelations about perks for prisoners including one notorious inmate who enjoys the benefits of a fish tank on his landing and is allowed play with games consoles.

Surely, at the very least, a stab proof vest for every officer isn't too much to ask.


Look after our hearts

THE Happy Heart Appeal this weekend reminds us to look after our own health.

Sometimes we need a nudge to remember what it takes to keep our heart healthy.

The story of Dublin taxi driver Christine McGrath is truly inspirational.

Christine said that she feels she has a second shot at life after she survived a double heart attack and has given up smoking altogether.

Cutting out cigarettes, increasing exercise, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as going for regular check-ups are advised.

It goes to show that a few little changes can go a long way.

Watch out for Irish Heart Foundation volunteers selling Happy Heart badges today and tomorrow.

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