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Irish Prison Service contacts retired staff in a bid to get them temporarily back to work

There are currently nearly 4,200 people in Ireland’s 13 prisons.

A cell in Mountjoy Prison.
A cell in Mountjoy Prison.
Image: Nicky Ryan/

Updated Mar 30th 2020, 6:24 PM

THE IRISH PRISON Service is contacting retired staff members to see if they are interested in returning to work during the coronavirus crisis. 

The IPS said it is looking for people to temporarily return to work to ensure that all the nation’s prisons continue to operate. 

A statement from the IPS reads: “Covid-19 will have a significant impact on Irish society and every one of us is taking action to reduce the effect it has on our families and communities. In our Prison Service, we are preparing to address the impacts of Covid-19 on the operation of prisons.

“In preparation for the potential impact, we are asking retired prison staff from all grades to register their interest in temporarily returning to work to support the operation of prisons as we move through this crisis.

“Retirees who express their interest will be contacted if their skillset, availability and geographic preference match with the emerging needs of the prison service. This means we are responding to needs as, where and when they arise.

“We cannot predict where the need will arise. As you can appreciate, this is a busy and challenging time for the prison service, so we ask for your continued patience and understanding in this regard.”

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Earlier this month, it emerged that 200 inmates had been granted temporary release due to the crisis. 

There are currently nearly 4,200 people in Ireland’s 13 prisons. 

Over the weekend, the IPS said all physical family visits to prisons not be allowed. Instead video calls will now be introduced.  It said it had made every effort to continue to run normal family visits for along as possible. 

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