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Prison officer is slashed in the face

A PRISON officer in Mountjoy jail has been slashed in the face with a makeshift knife.

A man serving a nine-month sentence for drugs offences attacked the officer, who is in his 30s, with a home-made blade, or 'shiv', in the separation unit of the prison.

The cells in the unit have been used in recent weeks to ease overcrowding at the prison, where more than 700 prisoners are housed.

The officer was taken to the Mater Hospital where he received 16 stitches to the face.

"A staff member received serious facial injuries and we are extremely concerned at the incident," a spokesman for the Prison Officers' Association said.

"Prison officers working in Mountjoy are very concerned about what is happening. We have previously highlighted the issue of overcrowding and will continue to do so until it is addressed," he said.

cfeehan@herald.ie