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Dublin: 19 °C Friday 19 July, 2019
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Mountjoy prison officer had blood smeared over his face by prisoner

Two other prison officers at Mountjoy had boiling water thrown at them in the past week.

Image: Prison via Shutterstock

A PRISON OFFICER in Ireland’s largest prison had blood smeared over his face by a prisoner in the past week.

Two other prison officers at Mountjoy had boiling water thrown at them and another was struck viciously in the head.

A fourth officer had to have hospital treatment after being bitten by a prisoner.

The shocking details at Mountjoy Prison in Dublin were released by the Prison Officers Association, which is holding its annual conference in Sligo.

“Where else in the State is this type of behaviour a feature of a worker’s daily life?” asked Stephen Delany, president of the POA.

Mountjoy has had frequent problems with overcrowding in both the men’s and women’s prisons on the site with the number of prisoners increasing significantly in recent years. There are currently 4,065 prisoners in custody in the country, an increase of more than 20 per cent since 2007.

Delany said that overcrowding has been tackled in prisons like Mountjoy but remains a major issue in other jails.

He pointed to the fact that prison numbers have swollen while the resources available have shrank.

“Where does this level of increase in occupancy take us – it just can’t continue without planning at management level and a review of facilities and resources,” he said.

Delany said that more care needs to be put in place to ensure prison officers are safe at work.

“Violent and disruptive prisoners have to be managed better within the prison estate,” he said.

“There is an enormous task ahead with regard to creating a workplace where staff are treated with dignity and respect and are valued as employees”.

“Even for Portlaoise Prison, the highest security prison in Europe, there is a proposal to withdraw the Environmental Allowance [which is related to the presence of dangerous subversive prisoners] for staff within.

“It is not because the subversive prisoners have gone away, it is because the prison numbers have increased to include the most dangerous criminal underworld within the state”.

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

Read: Overcrowding at Dóchas women’s prison has led to “tension throughout” the centre > 

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