herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Three guards hospitalised in prison attacks

Jim Mitchell
Jim Mitchell

Three prison officers were hospitalised after separate incidents at the Midlands prison in Portlaoise.

One officer required 14 stitches to his lower back, while the other two suffered a twisted knee and a suspected broken ankle.

The injuries occurred when two men, one of whom is related to a notorious convicted killer, attempted to stab a fellow prisoner.

A warder intervened and was stabbed with a shiv (a makeshift knife) during yesterday's altercation. The offending parties were subdued and the situation was brought under control.

One of the thugs involved in the attack is serving a sentence for the horrific rape of a woman.

The victim took her own life as a result.

During a follow up investigation into the assault of the prison officer, senior officials were attacked as they conducted interviews.

It is believed a prisoner became aggressive while being questioned and lunged at the staff.

During the scuffle, one prison officer twisted his knee, while the other twisted his ankle. It is believed this officer may have broken his ankle as a result of the scuffle.

The incidents happened between 11am and 12pm yesterday in the prison's E-wing.

The section of the jail is home to some of Ireland's most notorious sex offenders, but they are generally seen as low security-risk offenders.

security

Jim Mitchell, deputy general secretary of the POA, described the two incidents as "deeply concerning" in the prison's "enhanced section".

The attacks come as prison officers prepare to declare strike action for the first time in more than 25 years amid serious concerns over their safety in the country's jails.

hnews@herald.ie

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