herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Four 'Joy officers taken to hospital after cell row

FRACAS: Prison staff showered with contents of chamber pots

Four prison officers were taken to hospital after a row broke out in Mountjoy when two inmates were refused permission to "double up" in a single cell.

During the fracas, the officers were showered with the contents of chamber pots.

The incident happened around lunchtime yesterday in the D2 wing of the jail and initially involved two men.

They confronted prison staff after being refused permission to share a cell together over the lunch break. Prison sources said this was refused for "operational reasons" and sparked off an altercation.

As officers went to quell the disturbance after other prisoners joined in the fracas, inmates on the floor above on D3 wing began emptying excrement and urine from their chamber pots down on the officers below.



TRANSFERRED

After the situation was brought under control, the two prisoners from Co Kerry who are serving lengthy sentences for manslaughter were transferred. One was sent to Castlerea and the other to Cork.

The four officers, one with a severe head wound, were treated at the Mater Hospital and discharged.

Prison sources today said it emerged yesterday that officers needing treatment can no longer use a "swift call" treatment arrangement at hospitals.

The Prison Service is understood to have withdrawn access to the facility for financial reasons.

Prison staff must now queue up in the A and E department.

They fear this could present a serious risk for them, with many former prisoners using the same area.

"We would also be subjected to jeering and insults if, for example, we arrived in with injuries after a confrontation like yesterday's," said the source.

cmallon@herald.ie

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