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Let them eat cake

Prisoner who attacked officers 150 times got a birthday cake while on punishment

There was anger at the Prison Officers Association conference today.

A PRISONER WHO has a record of 150 assaults against staff had cake and minerals for his birthday after receiving money from the Prison Service.

That’s according to the President of the Prison Officers Association Stephen Delaney.

Speaking at the organisation’s annual conference today, he said, “In my time this is the most damning indictment of the Irish Prison Service mindset.

“This is extremely frustrating for our officers when such acts of violence are almost rewarded by the prison management.”

It is understood that the prisoner in question was on punishment for attacking two prison officers in Mountjoy less than two weeks ago.

Addressing the report at the Prison Officers Association conference, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said, ‘I’m not familiar with the particulars of that case’, but added:

I don’t think bad behaviour should be awarded.

Violent attacks

President of the POA Stephen Delaney said, “The physical safety of our members must always be a top priority.”

He said two officers attacked by the inmate recently received serious injuries to their head and face which they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Minister Fitzgerald said, “Every incident of violence against a prison officer will be dealt with with the utmost seriousness.

“It’s a cause of huge concern for me. This is a tough working environment.”

Prison officers escorting violent inmates are to get bullet-proof and anti-stab vests after two officers were stabbed when transporting prisoner Derek Brockwell.

Delaney addressed the lack of bullet proof vest for staff saying, “160 bullet proof vests for 3,500 staff is not enough.

The Minister said, “This issue is actively being looked at and we will take whatever action is necessary to make the working conditions within our prisons as safe as possible.”

Prison Gangs

Delaney also called for gang members who are dealing drugs in the prisons to be isolated from the main population.

Gang leaders must be properly isolated within prisons to ensure the safety of all officers and prisoners alike.

‘When new arrivals materialise what will there be there to greet them? Unfortunately it is going to be drugs, drugs and more drugs primarily driven by the gang members that we believe must be isolated from the main prison population.

We now have drugs in all our prisons and the main beneficiaries are the gang leaders who continue to profit – despite being behind bars.

Read: Six stabbings in six weeks: Prisons are ‘the most dangerous workplaces’ in Ireland>

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