Saturday 19 January 2019

Computer screen flung at prison governor after spate of violent attacks on officers

Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin
Cloverhill Prison in west Dublin

A spate of attacks in Dublin's Cloverhill Prison this week are under investigation, including one in which a computer screen was flung at the governor by an angry inmate.

Eight prison officers have been hospitalised this week after three incidents of violent attacks from three prisoners.

The first incident happened in the remand prison on Tuesday when an Assistant Chief Officer and three staff were injured.

A prisoner who had picked up a parcel in the yard over the weekend was before the governor on duty, who was writing up a P19 punishment notice for him.

After his punishment was issued, the prisoner picked up the computer screen from the desk and threw it at the governor.

Thankfully the screen missed him, and the staff removed the prisoner from the office and put him in an area known as The Strip.

But when they opened the cell to feed him, he attacked the staff, punching the Assistant Chief Officer a number of times in the head.

Three staff went to his assistance, and one was flung against the wall - injuring his back and hip.

The second incident occurred on Wednesday when three more staff were injured.

A prisoner was offered a phone call and when he was on the way to make his call he ran at an officer, punching him numerous times on the side of his head and face, breaking his glasses in the process.

The officer assisting him intervened and injured his back and knee while trying to restrain the prisoner.

The prisoner has a P19 dating back to May when he threatened the first staff member he attacked. All three staff had to attend the hospital.


A prison source said that as recently as last week management had been informed by prison staff that the inmate's mental health had been deteriorating rapidly and there was widespread certainty that he was going to attack staff again.

The third incident happened yesterday morning after a request by a prisoner was refused during the governor's daily parade.

A supervising officer was injured and had to go off duty and attend the hospital.

The Prison Officer's Association said they were concerned at the attacks and injuries.

"We are concerned at the severity, regularity and apparent predictability of these incidents that are sadly reminiscent of last year's high level of violence," said the Association's Deputy General Secretary Jim Mitchell.

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