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Call for Ombudsman as prison officers subjected to 'malicious' complaints

The Prison Officers Association has noted that the majority of complaints are not upheld.

Image: prison via Shutterstock

PRISON OFFICERS ARE being subjected to “vexatious” complaints from prisoners due to a complaints system ‘overly weighted in favour of the complainant’.

Speaking at the Prison Officers Association conference in Sligo last night, President Stephen Delaney called for for the appointment of an independent Ombudsman to oversee the complaints procedure.

“The overwhelming majority of complaints made since the legislation was introduced have not been upheld,” he said.

It is well established that vexatious complaints can be part of the prison system and this is a most serious issue for prison officers.

Delaney added that the government needs to “honour commitments made” on pay for prison officers, as long as the economic recovery continues.

“We prison officers have paid our dues and we have made a very significant contribution to the national recovery – post our economic crisis.”

In a 2011 speech, the now former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter conceded that pay in the prison service were “consistently higher than elsewhere in the public sector”.

Read: Death of Gary Douch, killed in Mountjoy, was “avoidable and should not have happened” >

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Nicky Ryan

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