Four prison officers were injured after a confrontation with a violent rapist in the Midlands Prison.
One of the officers sustained a serious arm injury after he was bitten during the assault
The Irish Prison Service (IPS) and gardai are now investigating the incident at the Midlands Prison on Tuesday evening when staff were injured while dealing with sex attacker Lovemore Dube (28).
Dube, a Zimbabwean national who had addresses in Limerick and Cork, received a nine-year prison sentence, with two years suspended, for the brutal 2012 rape of a middle-aged woman.
The late Mr Justice Paul Carney told the Central Criminal Court that Dube's attack was "disturbing, violent and insulting". His victim described him as "evil" and told how he insulted and laughed at her during the Cork rape.
The trial heard the woman had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis, with both tests proving negative.
It is understood the confrontation erupted when Dube presented himself near the prison medical centre on Tuesday and demanded prescribed medications.
However, the medications were not due to be given at that time and Dube was informed he would receive them later as scheduled.
A number of prison staff attempted to persuade him to return to his cell area before he had to be physically restrained when he became agitated.
During the subsequent confrontation, four prison staff were injured.
Three suffered bite marks.
One prison officer was very badly bitten with the gash exposing part of his arm bone.
A fourth prison officer sustained a broken finger.
All four had to be taken for hospital treatment in Portlaoise.
The IPS confirmed that an incident occurred at the Midlands Prison and that internal and garda investigations are underway.
Irish Prison Officers Association (IPOA) official, Jim Mitchell, said it was a very serious incident.
"This highlights again the issue we raised at our conference last week regarding the dangerous and difficult job that we do every day," he said.
"Our thoughts are with the officers and their families that now have a worrying and painful wait ahead of them."